"Under PRS's proposed terms, we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback."
—-Patrick Walker, YouTube


Dispute With Music Licensing Group Leads to Action
Google's YouTube has begun to block access to music videos in the U.K., in a dispute with PRS for Music, a group that collects music licensing fees on behalf of record labels.

The move comes just as Google negotiates stateside with Universal Music Group on a possible new music video site on the popular user-generated, sharing site. YouTube had previously pulled down Warner Music Group content in a dispute with that company.
YouTube's previous license with PRS for Music has expired, and they have been unable to reach an agreement on appropriate licensing fees.
Patrick Walker, YouTube Director of Video Partnerships in Europe, Middle East and Africa", wrote on his blog: "We value the creativity of musicians and songwriters and have worked hard with rights-holders to generate significant online revenue for them and to respect copyright. But PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our license than before.
"The costs are simply prohibitive for us. 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. That's like asking a consumer to buy an unmarked CD without knowing what musicians are on it."

PRS for Music disputed Google's action, saying it had not requested that they start blocking videos from the publishers it represents. It characterized the company's actions as a desire to pay less than it used to pay rather than an objection to a price increase.
Said PRS CEO Steve Porter: "Google has told us they are taking this step because they wish to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing.
"We were shocked and disappointed to receive a call late this afternoon informing us of Google's drastic action, which we believe only punishes British consumers and the songwriters whose interests we protect and represent."
Walker said YouTube will continue to work with PRS for Music to reach mutually agreeable terms for a new license. But until that happens, U.K. YouTube viewers won't have access to videos from major record labels.