YouTube, said it will block all music videos to British users after it was unable to reach a rights deal with the main songwriters’ collection society.
The world’s largest video sharing site said PRS for Music, a British collection society that collects royalties on behalf of nearly 50,000 composers, was asking it to pay “many, many times” more than the previous licensing agreement that has expired.
By Yinka Adegoke
“The costs are simply prohibitive for us — under PRS’s proposed terms, we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback,” the company said in a blog on Monday.
The move is the latest sign of the tension between YouTube and the music industry and also indicates the video site’s resolve to keep operating costs under control as it strives to generate meaningful profits for Google.
YouTube said PRS was also unclear about which songs are included in the renewed license.
“We’ve been talking to them for a long time and we’re still talking to them,” said Patrick Walker, YouTube director of video partnerships for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Walker described it as a “painful decision.”
But PRS disputed YouTube’s version of events and said it was caught by surprise by the announcement in the middle of ongoing negotiations.
“We were shocked and disappointed to receive a call late this afternoon informing us of Google’s drastic action,” said PRS for Music Chief Executive Steve Porter.