YouTube Makes Music Royalty Deal

    August 30, 2007

The MCPS-PRS Alliance is a UK organization with over 50,000 members; the organization exists to deliver royalties to its members, who are mainly music writers, composers and publishers.  And according to a new deal, some of those royalties will come from YouTube.

The exact amount of the agreed-upon flat fee remains unknown – heck, even an official ballpark is unavailable – so it’s hard to know how to treat this news.  The development may stave off a copyright infringement lawsuit or two, which would certainly be valuable to YouTube.  Then again, so would keeping cash in its pocket, and the company’s lawyers are quite good.

Another unclear issue is the matter of what will happen from this point forward.  “All four major record labels have now made licensing deals which mean they take a share of the advertising revenue when YouTube carries their music,” notes Jonathan Richards for the Times Online, “but this is the first deal which ensures that revenue will also be collected on behalf of song-writers and publishers.”

Ah, well.  We can at least return to safe ground by describing the MCPS-PRS Alliance’s membership; an article in The Guardian names Sir Paul McCartney and Eric Idle (AKA “Sir Robin”), in addition to Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen, as standing among the ranks.  And anything that benefits a Beatle and a Python can’t be all bad.