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YouTube UK Blocks All Premium Music Videos

Performing Rights Society license kerfuffle

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In the minds of some overdramatic and/or young people in the UK, it might be today, and not February 3rd, 1959, that deserves the title of "the day the music died."  That’s because YouTube UK has taken the drastic step of blocking many music videos. 

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Patrick Walker, YouTube’s director of video partnerships in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, would have you believe a group representing artists and publishers is to blame.  In a blog post, he explained, "Our previous license from PRS [Performing Rights Society] for Music has expired, and . . . . under PRS’s proposed terms we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback.  In addition, PRS is unwilling to tell us what songs are included in the license they can provide so that we can identify those works on YouTube . . ."

Hence the official solution: "we will be blocking premium music videos in the UK that have been supplied or claimed by record labels."

Interesting, eh?  Steve Porter, the CEO of PRS for Music, seems to have been caught off guard by the move; he responded by stating that he was "shocked and disappointed."  A short press release from his organization then gets in a couple of jabs by noting how much traffic YouTube receives, and the fact that Google took in around $5.7 billion during the last quarter of 2008.

So the two sides don’t seem likely to go out for a pint and seal a deal anytime soon.  Indeed, if people’s complaints don’t accomplish anything in the next day or two, music fans in the UK may need to either find another source of music videos or prepare to give up on the things for quite a while.

YouTube UK Blocks All Premium Music Videos
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  • Guest

    This isn’t the first time PRS has got greedy. Pandora stopped offering their service to UK customers after reaching an impasse with the organisation…

  • Guest

    I am fully supportive of Youtube. PRS can screw themselves. and if there is any music that i would like to hear on youtube i will just use a proxy server. The music business is getting more and more greedy. no wonder people are put off paying for music, even though legal sites are available. I only bought two albums last year KOL and MGMT, downloading them would have been very expensive in comparison to buying it on Amazon and getting a physical disc that had to be produced (raw materials, printing, recording), shipped (around the country) and then shipped again to me! The music business are gonna keep shooting themselves in the foot with their unjustifiable greed!