back to article YouTube blocks music videos in UK

YouTube is blocking most of its music videos from UK viewers after negotiations with British royalty collectors turned sour. The Performing Rights Society (PRS) for Music, a group representing artists and publishers, and YouTube both blame each other entirely for the impasse, of course. Patrick Walker, YouTube's top pact- …

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Silver badge

They always talk about how much the artist is going to get

Which is bolloxs as we know the money just goes to the holding company and the artist gets bugger all.

I say "good on you you-tube" you tell the parasites where to go

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Pirate

Stupid

The PRS can't win here. Nobody likes them. Google are coming out of this as the good guys and the PRS are again the bad guys. And rightly so as the collection agency for one of the worlds biggest cartels.

As much as I'm ok with freeloading being illegal the PRS and music/video labels need a kick in the arse. Folk will just download illegally if they can't get music cheaply in the knowledge that the recording artists get hee haw anyway.

The music industry could have made an absolute killing from the internet. Instead it has decided to oppose almost everything on the internet with the result that it doesn't stop whinging about falling revenues. How long till the PRS, Motion Picture Ass etc crawl into their holes and die and we might get a fair system. Fair to the consumer first and the provider second like other good service businesses in the world.

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Flame

Overzealous DRM and Licensing 101

Rule #1: Neither works the way -you- want it to.

Any questions?

Of course in the end it is the consumer who pays, either by deprivation or starvation (of resources).

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Hypocrisy much?

At a risk of stating the obvious ...

When Youtube don't pay the 'fair' rate for the vids and show them, they are evil criminal terrorist supporting pirates stealing the food from the artists.

When Youtube device they can't afford the 'fair' rates and stop showing the vids, they are being unreasonable.

.. and the music industry wonder why people think that they are just money-grabbing pond-scum.

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PRS out of control

Once upon a time, businesses, charites and other organisations could legally have radios playing in their premises for all to enjoy, and the radio stations paid fees (based on audience size) to the PRS (and other such bodies).

Today, the PRS claim that such organisations *also* need to pay them for the privilege of listening to the radio, even though the radio stations are still paying them.

IOW, the PRS are trying to get paid multiple times for the same "performance".

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This post has been deleted by its author

Go

<yawn>

BFD

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Fools

[PRS] We're outraged that our videos are on Youtube. Take them down at once.

[Google] erm, how about if we pay you royalties?

[PRS] I suppose that will do.

Some time later...

[PRS] Can we have some more money?

[Google] Actually we're not that fussed. We'll take them down after all.

[PRS] We're outraged that our videos aren't on Youtube. Put them back at once.

Etc...

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Boffin

What an strange business model

The PRS should be paying YouTube to air their promos.

Isn't that how advertising works?

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Anonymous Coward

This of any use...

http://anonymizer.nntime.com/

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Stop

luckily I can pay my rent in "goodwill" and "promotion"

As a very minor PRS registered artist I am so lucky that my landlord takes payment in "goodwill" and "promotion" rather than hard cash or I'd be out on the street. I couldn't give a flying f@ck whether U2 get paid PRS royalties but I'm glad I do. Even if it's not much.

@ dAVE SHIT - MTV certainly do pay PRS: http://www.prsformusic.com/about_us/press/latestpressreleases/mcpsprsalliance/Pages/MusicAllianceandMTVNetworksEurope.aspx

As for paying to play music radio or other recorded music (such us my mp3 collection) at work - I'm sorry but since when did I give you permission to use my music to increase the productivity and output of your staff for free? Whilst I agree that the amounts the PRS asks for from employers are high and should be lowered, I don't believe that the music should be free. Let's imagine that over the course of a year the music played in a workplace increases productivity by 2%. Lets imagine you're a mechanic, just you and your mate working the business, taking home £20k / year each (or at least that's what you tell the taxman). So your business made £40k last year, which would have been £39,216 with the radio off. For the extra £884 you made, PRS want to charge you £44 to pay towards the musicians who made that extra money possible - what is wrong with that?

Back to youtube - how many people in real life watch the video on youtube or listen to the music then buy the cd? Given that 95% of all music downloads are illegal / unpaid (for the artists at least) the answer is precious few. Most of the PRS members in the UK are not on massive money. Youtube's masters, Google, took $5.7bn in revenues for q4 2008 and I'm supposed to give them my music for free because it's good "promotion". Promotion means nothing. Unless money changes hands at the end of it, promotion, marketing, PR, the whole thing is worthless - why should I invest what little I have into something that doesn't pay any returns?

Take it to its logical conclusion and suddenly advertising companies start using my music for free, because it's "good promotion". My music ends up on a film which is free because it's "good promotion". My albums are in the shops and I get to number one on the album charts but I don't get paid a penny because all those sales and all that exposure were "good promotion". I do a bunch of gigs but don't get paid because they were all "good promotion". Music IS good fun but for some of us it's also the way we make a living.

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Anonymous Coward

interesting reading

at http://www.prsformusic.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/About%20MCPS-PRS/Alliance%20Financials%202007.pdf

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Anonymous Coward

PRS

PRS are a bunch of bully boy con artists, fact.

The sooner they are investigated the better.

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@ AC: 'Desperate'

"Just click Cancel to be seen as not in the UK."

Great tip ! Thank you.

(Even though you've broken the DMCA and are therefore the personal cause of $$$GAZILLIONS$$$ of loss to the recording industry. Just as well you stayed anonymous with 1337 H4X0r sk1llz like that.)

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Boffin

Difficult to care

...when both sides are twats punting a worthless product in the hope of making you buy stuff you neither need nor want.

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Music videos are adverts for bands

At least I always thought so! A well made video will genereate interest, will spread round like a viral and generate CD/download sales....no video, no advert, no sales. are PRS totally stupid? Why should youtube/google pay silly money for me to watch an advert? The PRS should be paying youtube!

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Pirate

@ Simon Brown

Interesting viewpoint from an artist but you are just plain wrong about listening to music on the radio. The BBC / commercial radio station is already paying the PRS dues (which is only right and fair) but why should a mechanic have to pay to listen to a radio in his workplace?!

If he listens to your music, likes it and buys a CD you've made money. If he is forced to pay PRS dues he will turn off his radio, not hear your song and you can kiss your CD income good bye!

A public broadcast is where someone makes money playing your song. Ie a DJ at a club, wedding etc. Not someone listening to a radio at work!

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Unhappy

Peter Thomas

@Simon Brown

I'm a plumber*. Who said you can turn on a tap without my permission, getting water without me seeing a penny? Every time someone has a shower, a bath or washes up, I DESERVE PAYMENT!

If that doesn't sound stupid to you, then I congratulate you for being sincere in your belief, no matter how ridiculous it is.

(Er, I'm not actually a plumber, in the same way the PRS doesn't actually support music.)

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g e

@ Simon Brown

"As for paying to play music radio or other recorded music (such us my mp3 collection) at work - I'm sorry but since when did I give you permission to use my music to increase the productivity and output of your staff for free?"

If that's worded correctly then, IIRC, the radio station is paying you to let people hear you in the first place. MCPS paid you for the physical reproduction of your recording in whatever format it was distributed and you presumably got whatever cut you negotiated with your label/publisher for its sale also. If your MP3 was downloaded and being listened to you got free advertising from a sale that would likely have never happened but may actually generate one elsewhere. OK not paid *you* but paid someone on your behalf who may or may not have then paid you anything.

Or has everything changed since our old band had an album cut?

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Oi wallies!

Just 'cos it says commercial doesn't just limit it to the latest moron-fodder muzak. There are bucket loads of great bands in all sorts of genres that really get genuine benefit from someone finding a track on YouTube, then going and buying it. As a dedicated metal-fan I hope this does help to remove some of the crap that passes for music these days, but sadly the ad budgets seem inversely proportional to the "talent" of the artist concerned!

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Jax
Unhappy

@Simon Brown

You have 2 choices.

a) Gigs.

b) Get a "proper" job.

Seriously, b) is a good point. I'd like to do that shit all day, hell I used to breakdance in a big crew in the UK that won most of the stuff going but there was no money in it so I started programming. I still love dancing but I realised that it really doesn't pay.

Some industries are hard to make a lot of money in because a lot of people want to do it because doing it is fun. Pretty much all the arts (even game programming to a degree). Unless you're good enough and committed enough to build a following large enough to generate profit at gigs then i'm afraid it is going to be hard to make a good deal of money producing music these days.

I really like the fact you've posted, it's the best post here but what else can we do? There is no way in hell we can re-write the moral code of the masses or even find them all and hit them all with a stick.

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@Simon Brown

Ok, let's look at this one step/para at a time.

1. Two things on this. Firstly, if you didn't have the PRS money would you just stop eating and die or would you cope? I've lived on very little money, and survival isn't an issue, I'm sure it's nice having the extra cash, but I would expect you would be just fine without it. Secondly, do you honestly think you will see any of the extra money that the PRS makes from Google?

2. You're not giving permission to "improve productivity", you give permission to listen to music, that's all. If it improves work, so be it, but that's nothing to do with you, for exactly the same reason that you don't pay your landlord extra when the street is quieter than usual outside your bedroom window, letting you wake up better and be more productive in your studio. You've already asked someone to pay for the performance when the radio station paid for it. Get over the fact that you can't charge everyone who listens to your music, however much you would like to. This is the reason that the extortionate figures quoted in p2p trials are ridiculed, there's no guarantee that anyone at that workplace wants to listen to the music, or that every song played increases productivity, they might just have read a technical manual the night before. It's arrogant to assume it's because of you that the productivity has increased, which is what you are doing.

3. Where did you get the 95% figure? I would assume the majority of the number is made up by the unpaid section. That's a problem with the system, and kind of reinforces what most people are saying, that the system currently just doesn't work and needs changing. 'Google, took $5.7bn in revenues for q4 2008 and I'm supposed to give them my music for free because it's good "promotion"'. No. The issue isn't with user-uploaded music, it's with the Premium videos which have been uploaded specifically by the record companies. YouTube already pay royalties for them, the PRS is asking for more. You've spectacularly missed the point, however, for clarification - if you got a decent paying job would your landlord ask for a higher rate? Also, promotion is everything. It's what record companies spend most of their money on, because without exposure you won't make any money. If you're not making money, it's possibly because you're not any good. While it's easy enough to do, most people will not grab YouTube content, or download tracks illegally, but will, if they like it, either purchase the track as a download, or even better, order your album. If you're not making any money out of that it's not YouTube's fault, people are still buying your stuff, you're just getting shafted by the music industry, which, once again, is pretty much what people are saying already.

4. That's not a logical conclusion. YouTube already pay for the music, they're being asked for extortionately higher amounts of money. It's like making a film and using your music, then when the film studio has made huge profits on the film, asking for much more money. It's stupid.

Quite frankly, I find you arrogant and naive. Even if you're music is good I can't see you doing too well, simply because you come across as abrasive.

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+1 for YouTube

Well done YouTube - its time someone stood up to these excessive claims.

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Anonymous Coward

@Simon Brown

PRS suck dick as do you, double tapping consumers and forever looking for a bigger piece of pie, now you get f--- all from youtube and I sincerly hope they tell the PRS and all the poor starving artists to suck it up, go get a real job if you can't make your music pay.

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r
Paris Hilton

@Simon Brown

>since when did I give you permission to use my music to increase

>the productivity and output of your staff for free?

It's not "for free" - I paid for the music, remember?

Next I'll be getting a solicitor's letter from the company that made the new lights I had installed. They didn't give me permission to use them to make this place better to work in (and thereby increase productivity) either.

Stop whining and get a proper job instead you lazy ****

Paris - because at least she has talent.

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PRS Licence - Loophole

If you are a DJ / Musician / Performer are you aware that if you are performing at a "family occasion" i.e birthday, wedding etc that you do not need the PRS Licence ! so just make sure it's someones birthday in the pub I mean what's the chances of it being someones birthday everyday

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Pirate

@Simon Brown

What you say may be true, but the fact remains that by demanding too-high fees from Google, they will now get nothing from Google, and thus neither will you. I was a big fan of Pandora, and certainly bought quite a lot of music after hearing it on there. After being denied access to that excellent service thanks to similar action by the PRS, I have nothing but ill will towards them. Defend them all you want, but the PRS's actions here are stupid. Your mention of Google's revenue is disingenuous, because YouTube's estimated revenue was only $90million for 2008, and profits would be a tiny fraction of that. Revenue is not profit. Enjoy your slice of nothing anyway.

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@Simon Brown

If you do music primarily to make money then you're exactly what's wrong with music today, if it's your major concern then I guess you'll let money drive your ideas.

So you think that having music on adds 2% productivity, and you deserve some of that? what about having a clean towel in the washroom, that nice tree outside, being allowed to nip off early when it's not busy, giving credit to customers, or the millions of other things which make it a better place to work or increase productivity? methinks you over-estimate your importance, besides how often have you been in a place that has the radio on and it's actually a distractor, it costs productivity (we used to have radio on at work and call stats went UP after the radio went off) actually saving nearly £1000 pcm, so the choice is pay £44 to PRS and lose over ten grand a year or leave the radio off and increase productivity (the workplace isn't so nice but we all have bills to pay).

Talking about money, you think just because Google made lots of money it's OK for YouTube to make a loss? in that case because U2 is getting lots of royalties you can get stuffed.

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FURY

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get Billy Idol's "Dancing with myself" recording for the music video ?

Still LOL PROXY etc.

I for one am boycotting busic mritish that does not involve bagpipes from now on, which will make not even the slightest bit of difference.

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@Simon Brown

Have no fear Simon I´m sure noone will ever download your music... ever

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Urrr...

The reason that the PRS are narked is that youtube want to pay the same ammount for music that they have been paying historically, but the ammount of music that they are showing has increased exponentially. Good on the PRS, I say - sticking up for the little guy (the artists) against giant business trying to rip them off.

Those who suggest that Google shouldn't be pumping money into youtube seem to miss the point that youtube's business model was never going to work. Google bought youtube, knowing this full well, therefore they should pony up the cash.

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PRS demonstrate they are complete tits.

The PRS can no longer touch YouTube, and anyone who wants to can still access the vids via proxies.

The PRS hasn't just shot itself in the foot, its blow both feet clean off.

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M
Happy

Anti-PR(S)

Google had a site where music videos were being legally streamed, because the profits from advertising revenue were worth more than the fees to the PRS for the videos. The PRS demanded higher fees that would make the site operate at a loss. So Google has stopped doing so.

That the PRS believes Google is incumbent to run a loss in order to continue acting as a promotional window for the record companies the former represents is the sort of naive thinking that is to be expected of them, frankly. They played hardball, and lost big time.

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@Simon Brown

Wait, what?

How long is your song if it can contribute a year long 2% increase?

Say you've got a massive 20% increase for a 3 minute song (i.e. Walkin on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves which always seems to get people bopping along). Out of the £40k that would mean an increase of a tiny fraction of a percent over the year. A few pence at most. Maybe a pound if the song was any good and played a few times a year.

Oh, and you've already been paid by the radio for their right to broadcast it. And if it's on a CD you've got the royalties from that.

As someone said above, either do gigs to get more money or get a proper job to support your music habit. You can always quit if you make it big, plus it'll give you some actual experience of how the world works and some more experience for your songs.

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Anonymous Coward

PRS and Their "Silly Games".

I see a bigger picture here. The various "interested parties" here are capable of more than one foul deed you know. Having read the comments posted above I was most surprised that no-one has linked this to the shenanigins wrt TPB. What we have here is another component of the "War on Music". I fully expect the verdict wrt TPB to be agreed beforehand,[and its going to piss a lot of people off] and will be strengthened by this insidious behaviour.

I see news reports from around the globe confirming successfull bully boy tactics on the part of the "official agencies", this is no coincidence, too many dollars to worry about.

Final Statement?

YOU WILL PAY.

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@Simon Brown

I think you may have missed the point. The premium content we are talking about is put up to promote music. Not by pirates but by the music business because they saw the opportunity for a bit of free advertising.

Blocking it just removes a way of getting some free exposure. The PRS are doing you no favours in this case and as a customer of theirs you should be on their backs for an explanation why they might be trying to collect on something that has already been given away free by the owners.

Or look at it like this: I make furtwanglers that I put in a shop window. People buy my furtwanglers and I make some cash. Then some gangsters turn up and say I've sent them to tax the shop because there's furtwanglers in the window. Based on the turnover of their shop. They also mug any passer by who catch an accidental glimpse of my furtwanglers. With a promise that some of the money will go back to me, the maker. So the shop says bugger that we are putting the furtwanglers in the back room.

Nobody wins. Me and the people who don't know how pretty/useful/flexible/green my furtwanglers are the big losers. All the gangsters have done is broken a model that me and the shop were reasonably happy with.

The model is broken...but that's not a bad thing. It means its time to find a new on. I remember the Pretenders on one of their inner sleeves (in the days of proper records) rewording the "Home Taping is Destroying Music" tag to "Home Taping is Destroying the Music Business."

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Pirate

Spotify

Does anyone know the deal between the PRS and Spotify ? I'd like to know if they're going to royally f*** that for everyone as well once they start to get greedy.

@Simon Brown - What's your take on Spotify as a promotional avenue for your music ?

Pirates, cos you know which Swedish website is going to see increased traffic tonight as a direct result of these actions.

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PRS Leeches

What a waste of space the PRS are! Will I need a licence if I play the car stereo loud enough so that pedestrians in the high street hear it? Is this classed as "broadcasting"?

Most savvy internet users will use a non-UK proxy to access Youtube instead!

Outdated ideas by this leech of a company!

Down with PRS!!!

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@ Simon Brown

er, who uses You tube to stream music in to their work place? I would have thought that the advantage of You tube was that it streamed the content instead of users downloading it. That way if they like it so much then they will go out and buy it.

If someone has listened to your music on You tube a few times and still not been motivated to go and buy it, it's probably that your music just isn't good enough.

Either that or they've gone and downloaded it on torrent, in which case you have to consider whether the business model you have chosen for distributing your music is the right one. Because although you may be seeing a meager income the record companies and the PRS really aren't doing you any favours when you could be doing something else more profitable with your material such a distributing yourself online.

I suppose it's easier to blame someone else that to examine your own shortcomings or lack of effort.

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Anonymous Coward

BBC

I note we're still waiting for that spineless bunch of luvvies to put up the comments they received. Probably waiting for instructions from NuLab HQ about how to run it......

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@ Simon Brown

Um ... you've posted your views on this page, and let's assume that 30% of those were reading at work, thus lowering their productivity. It's a pretty simple matter to calculate how many times your post has been viewed, take 30% of this at the national average wage, and (using your figures) charge you for 2%.

Where can we send your bill?

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Coat

Evolution

I am a manufacturer of buggy-whips, and I demand a payment everytime you whip your horse with my product. Where are my royalties? What do you mean, I'm a century too late?

Get your coat, PRS, you'll be pulling yourself.

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Silver badge

Awesome!

All my favourite acts are still up because they're not signed to pigopolists! Score!

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Paris Hilton

PRS -fit for purpose?

I've no reason to be a member but it seems that a non-profit organisation that distributes royalties based upon market research and statistical sampling and then deducts undisclosed administration costs - might have problems being taken seriously?

If this is the business "model" how do they decide how much YouTube, BBC etc. pay, or is it simply for as much as they think they can screw out of them and double it?

If they're a non-profit organisation - who appointed them to look after Songwriters' and Publishers' interests? I've no doubt it was a few Songwriters' who got together and decided they needed to protect their work from exploitation and not a body that could exploit them - just a little bit more.

Well done YouTube for not knuckling down to such yet another section of the outmoded Music Industry.

Sympathise with all the Songwriters for having to pay for membership to the PRS - as there's very few other alternatives, to get recognition for their work.

Hey! but look on the bright side - there's always the BPI waiting in the wings.

Having shrugged of the Gower's Report and getting bored with not getting the "right" response from the UK Government they have been actively lobbying the EU for some time now and it looks like they will finally get the "right" response to extend Copyright to 95 years' very soon.

All Songwriters' will of course benefit as there will be a good chance that their songs will be high profile for many more years' than the current UK 50 years' as Consumers' rush to buy the re-released material ad infinitum.

Sir Cliff must be relieved.

Sad thing is were sitting back and letting it happen.

Paris 'cos she's used to being screwed.

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A
Stop

The PRS appear to be idiots.

Anyone care to guess what the #1 reason for me buying songs? Yup, Youtube. You get to hear the whole song, rather than a random 30s snippet, and it usually shows you other things that might be of interest too.

I'd say 90% of my music purchases this year (amounting to 3 CD's and 10MP3's) came as a direct result of listening to music on Youtube.

The title says it all.

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Alert

Join the Facebook Group!

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=59444106999

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Stop

What's wrong with this picture...

Hmm. So the PRS thinks the equation should be:

1. Upload copyrighted video to YouTube.

2. Have your staff spend all day viewing it on dozens of computers.

3. Profit!

Gak. Google shouldn't pay a cent for it. It's a service, and if the PRS wants people to be watching their content, they have to compete with everyone elses (free) content on a level playing field. If Google pays the PRS, I'd better get my check too! For that matter, Google is delivering eyeballs to their content, make them pay for it just like the rest of the advertisers do. In fact, any commercial interests should have to pay to upload to YouTube, it should only be free for non-commercial videos.

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Happy

publicity ?

Tend to get most music off legal sites like jamendo, bought loads of CD's years ago and still like the music, they do not wear out like the tapes used to.

Most of the music I like does not need videos as it is trance, but to stop giving bands free advertising on youtube might not be the best approach ?

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Congrats PRS tossers

I now find that I am unable to view my uploaded video of the Clash (finest band on the planet IMNSHO - before, since & Marmite) I get a:

This video is not available in your country.

</sigh>

PRS tossers: Double bubble; they appear to be like Hatton's twats in Liverpool, fuck everyone else - as long as I feather my nest.

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