YouTube to Block UK Music Video Users

YouTube UK music banYouTube, the popular Google-owned video sharing site, has announced it will block access to UK residents wanting to watch online music videos. The statement was issued after the company failed to agree new licensing terms with the Performing Right Society (PRS).

The PRS collects royalties on behalf of 50,000 composers and artists. The organisation was negotiating a new deal with YouTube that is rumoured to be many times more than the previously agreed terms which expired recently.

Both parties blame each other for the breakdown.

YouTube’s Director, Patrick Walker, stated that the move was regrettable:

We feel we are so far apart that we have to remove content while we continue to negotiate with the PRS. We are making the message public because it will be noticeable to users on the site.

The company’s blog also stated:

The costs are simply prohibitive for us – under PRS’s proposed terms we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback.

Steve Porter, the Music Chief Executive for PRS, disputes YouTube’s version of events which were announced during the ongoing negociations:

We were shocked and disappointed to receive a call late this afternoon informing us of Google’s drastic action.

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.

Whatever the outcome, the only clear losers at this time are the UK public.

Is this a last desperate attempt from the ‘old’ economy to hold on to power? Or can we expect increased litigation from the traditional distribution channels against new media companies? The web is a worldwide network; can organisations realistically dictate what individual territories are permitted to view when it is technically possible to bypass those restrictions?

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  • davesbobcat

    I was in a forum yesterday and this offer was posted.”I will build your site and host it for free.All I want is half of your profits.” I have my own opinion, but I’d like to hear yours.

  • Tarh

    The UK is increasingly becoming like China, but without any of the power. If YouTube begins to dramatically censor content, a new service will simply appear to take its place. Rinse and repeat.

  • http://www.dynamicpixel.co.uk neron-fx

    I agree with Tarh,

    If the demand is there from the UK public to watch this type of content, someone will find a way. Whether its by bypassing what YouTube have in place or going to alternative sources! People find ways.

    People aren’t going to not do something just because YouTube aka Google tell them not to!

  • :)

    Lol, proxies.

  • http://www.ewriting.pamil-visions.com/ Mihaela Lica

    Craig, in my opinion Google is the looser! UK users could simply migrate to other video sharing sites. We have enough of those already. YouTube and Google only have the power we give them.

  • richard

    Fix for region lock on youtube

    for all uk people trying to whatch music vdeos and getting the not available in your region dont dispair i have a quick and easy fix.

    download a program called ultrasurf and simply run it will open up you explorer and then you can what any vieo u want on youtube. works well for me :)

  • http://www.vantagegaming.net/ ben332211

    @neron-fx: I personally suggest the blame is more with the Performing Right Society (PRS) and not Google/YouTube. The representatives of the copyright holders (PRS) have asserted their rights, YouTube have no real choice here but to do something to ‘block’ the content in the UK or risk litigation.

    Hopefully, talks will resume and PRS will back down on the payment model they are asking for, and embrace new technology instead of pricing it out [bitterness]intentionally[/bitterness].

    Both Artists and potential customers are hardly best served with the status quo, although one does have to wonder whether the PRS really have artists best interests in mind… They certainly don’t customers! :)

  • http://www.vantagegaming.net/ ben332211

    Some interesting additional coverage can be found here:

    http://www.paidcontent.co.uk/entry/419-why-youtubes-prs-spat-is-just-one-battle