YouTube UK Blocks All Premium Music Videos

    March 9, 2009

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. 

YouTube Logo

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.