YouTube Moves On To Blocking All Music Videos In The UK

from the nice-job,-PRS dept

Following in the footsteps of Warner Music’s debacle in overplaying its hand and having all its music removed from YouTube — leading to a ton of fan and artist resentment pointed at Warner Music, it looks like the UK’s Performing Right Society (PRS) is going down the same route. After making demands on Google that would make it so that the company was losing significant money every time a video was watched, Google has simply pulled music videos down in the UK. Basically, Google is making the point to PRS: you need us much more than we need you.

I’m not entirely sure if this is in effect already. I’m in the UK right now and a quick search on YouTube found all of the videos I looked for. However, it seems that Google knows that it’s the one with the leverage in these negotiations and is finally letting other parties recognize that. The record labels keep demanding more without any actual reason for it, insisting that 100% of the value comes from the music, rather than the service and the promotions. It’s about time that some of the service providers proved they were wrong. Yes, the music is part of the value, but it certainly appears that a much bigger part of the value is the community that Google brings at YouTube.

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Companies: google, prs, youtube

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Comments on “YouTube Moves On To Blocking All Music Videos In The UK”

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R. Miles says:

Are people finally getting it?

Google is making the point to PRS: you need us much more than we need you.
We’ll see how this plays out, given people are just too stupid and will begin blaming Google for the lack of video links, not the PRS.

If this idea of standing up against record labels (et al) worked, then the online streaming websites should have also joined, as well as television producers (using music in shows), creative designers (using music in design), and anything else related to, but not distributing, music.

But we’ll never see this because each of those industries also relies on distribution. Will Google block these as well?

It’s appalling the entire industry over creative works is so screwed, change gets worse before it even gets better.

Only those willing to fire their distributors and take the role on themselves have a clue about how to reach an audience, targeted or not.

Jason (user link) says:

Re: Are people finally getting it?

It’s easy to prevent people from being confused… rather than removing links, you simply replace the video with a short one explaining that it has been blocked due to the PRS action, and probably include links on the page to a few stories and such about what’s going on.

People won’t figure it out on their own, necessarily, but they WILL understand if you stick it under their noses.

Peter Thomas says:

It's happening from 6pm UK time tonight...

…and over the next two days.

Probably preaching to the choir here on TechDirt, but there are some record industry shills on this page…

For all the people on the blog claiming Google is a big nasty evil corporation, stealing food from the mouth of the poor struggling musician, um, let’s not forget a few solid facts which blows your victim status to shreads.

Those lot are on the side of companies such as EMI, SonyBMG, Warners and Universal – known for price-fixing and artist-screwing since the dawn of rock’n’roll.

PRS – an outdated dinosaur whose continued existence is truly jaw-dropping – goes round demanding £400+ a year from small businesses who have a radio on in the background (tuned into stations that have already paid £15 a minute to PRS). Anyone think these people are the heroes? They’re truly screwing the little guys, that’s their business model.

And to demand more money than YouTube gets in revenue, to hand out to a list of artists/labels they won’t even disclose? That serves as evidence that PRS are not on the side of musicians or music lovers. A greedy secretive outdated protection racket that’s clearly dying. A digital Taliban that is obsolete in this age.

If you are a musician, you should be on the side of YouTube. The PRS’s continued greed has just seen your videos removed, along with the very valuble purchase-from-iTunes link that was gaining you revenue. Don’t be surprised when music fans simply pop over to p2p services such as Pirate Bay to get the music for NOTHING instead. All because of PRS’s dumb and excessive persuit.

The demise of the recording industry is beautiful, it’ll continue as long as the labels and PRS refuse to acknowledge the way music consumption has changed for the 21st Century.

Anonymous Coward says:

This is great

I think copyright law is going to be a burn the village to save it scenario.

In other words, despite all of the laws put in place, despite all of the DRM, despite all of the control people try to exert it will have to be a complete trainwreck before media companies give up on it.

UK losing access to music videos is exactly that kind of trainwreck. Now people searching for videos will go elsewhere (and those sites probably aren’t willing to work with content providers). And many fans just won’t care.

Overall, if the industry continues enforcing copyright here, they will simply lose sales.

Anonymous Coward says:

“The record labels keep demanding more without any actual reason for it…”
The Masnicks seem to be outraged by this which is quite odd since when e.g microsoft use what influence they have to claim more of the browser market the Masnicks claim this is just competition and everyone benefits, similarly when Intel tried to push OLPC out of it’s market.

So what it the difference/consistence with these positions ? – is it just that the Masnicks always need to align themselves with winners ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Google isn’t ‘competeing’ with the record lables the way Microsoft is competing with, say, Apple or Mozilla. In this case, Google/YouTube is much more like terrestrial radio or (original) MTV — yes, they use content by the recording industry, but they aren’t competing. Competition would be if they were hiring and promoting their own artists.

Warner Music and Sony BMG compete with each other, not with Google.

brwyatt says:

Day of Silence

Much like what online radio did a while back, maybe Google/Youtube should have a similar thing. Disable ALL audio on ALL videos for a day, hell, even a week. Turn the volume button into a speaker with a big red X on it, and when users click on it (attempting to get sound), link them to a page explaining what is going on, sort of. They should say “Due to [RIAA/PRS] pressure, we have decided that it is in our best interest to remove all audio from all videos to prevent the risk of lawsuits from the recording industry.” Then if the MPAA starts trying to pull something, they can take the site down for a day. This WILL piss off users, but they won’t be as mad at Google/Youtube as they will be at the RIAA/PRS. At the end of it all, they can issue a press release stating exactly what they did and why. Then maybe people will finally understand whats been going on lately and start giving a damn.

Allen (profile) says:

The problem with leverage in any negotiation is that the other side needs to recognize it. Where in the history of the digital revolution has a copyright representative body got beyond thinking (under the old rules):

“but, but, but, we should be getting mega$ It’s not fair waaaah waaah I want my mommy!”

I’m so glad I live in China where copyright and patents are ignored. Wait but so is free speech, and other corrupting western ideas. Damn, I’ve run out of things to say.

Anonymous Coward says:

I guess I don’t really understand…

the PRS wants to “get paid for their advertising” instead of having to “pay for advertising”?

To me, music videos are akin to advertising…I don’t really consider them entertainment. I seldom watch them…there’s enough advertising in my life.

I’m pretty sure I could live without them on YT.

I didn’t understand, tho, that music and lyric writer’s were paid separately from the performer (artist) and is covered by a different representational group.

Peter Thomas says:

Re: Re:

Er, you think YouTube has to worry about anything? They’ve won the moral argument, the legal argument and they’ve shown the PRS to be the true parasitic no-talent bunch of greedy low-lives that they are.

It’ll just push music fans to the Pirate Bay, and any musicians who are members of the PRS (an organisation which bullies hairdresses and garages into paying £475 a year if they have a radio on in the background) will have to evaluate what exactly the hell PRS do to promote music, ‘cos I sure can’t see what it is!

PRS 0 – P2P 1. The record industry’s long suicide note continues!

Bruce Houghton (user link) says:

Will the music industry ever learn?

The US is not much better. We just sue the innovators.

Who suffers?

The fan, as usual, who just lost a major source of music discovery and found another reason to be angry at the music industry.

But it’s the UK music industry that is the biggest looser.
From online royalties to ISP interference, the birthplace of The Beatles and Sex Pistols seems determined to send the message that it has no intention of being an incubator for new music tech and the new music industry itself.


Comboman says:


Yes, the music is part of the value, but it certainly appears that a much bigger part of the value is the community that Google brings at YouTube.

Google certainly provides most of the value, in the form of storage space and bandwidth, but community? YouTube is useful in spite of it’s “community” not because of it. XKCD cartoon to illustrate my point

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If you can sell something at $5 but not at $10, and you want to sell it at $10, have you failed? No, the market has shown you the price people are willing to pay for whatever it is your selling.

You and the Labels panic when the market says it won’t pay more than $0, but you don’t recognize that there are other things that are aided by free music — the extra demand drives sales elsewhere. So suck it up and capture those other sales.

David says:

You Tube Has Done What The Majors Could Not Do Alone

I believe You Tube has accomplished what the major labels were never able to do separately. As stated somewhere in this blog, the majors are in competition with each other and never wanted to be the only one without videos on You Tube. By taking down all the major videos, You Tube has definitely shot themselves in the foot, possibly fatally the longer they do so. Realize that it is about competition with each other and as long as executives can say “we’re not generating any income from You Tube but neither is our competitors” no one at the majors cares. Just watch!

Cyrian says:

Google should charge copyright holders for hosting and bandwidth instead.

I believe Google made the right move on this. Google reserves the right to remove infringing materials from youtube in the first place. And since there was no agreement to use such copyrighted materials, Google should remove it to prevent litigation by copyright holders.

If copyright holders wants to insist their materials are hosted in youtube, Google should charge copyright holders for hosting and bandwidth instead.

mannydeguzmanartist (user link) says:

Educational/ Documentary videos being compromized by Copyrighted audio

Now here’s the real problem. Educational/ Demonstrative and Documentary content of the videos were being compromised because of a Copyrighted audio content even if the use conforms with “Fair Use” – Regardless of relevance and significance, the video were being blocked to several countries if they contain audio tracks which are not allowed to be viewed. Is that Copyright infringement?

Here are samples of my informative/ documentary YouTube videos being blocked to Germany and other countries due to audio content claim…
(Click the links)

All videos conforms with Copyright’s “Fair Use” (sections 107 through 118 or Copyright Law – title 17, U. S. Code).

*Amazing Girl Handicapped Artist” (Music: Here With Me by Plumb, content owned by Sony Music. Video blocked in Germany…

“Sculpture Tutorial- Modeling Clay Preparation, Armature & Mold Making” (One of 3 music tracks – That’s What You Get by Paramore, owned by Warner. Previously muted – Dispute successful and restored to original state…

A Journey Through Life- Manny de Guzman, Jr. (Life Story). Music owned by Sony Music. Video blocked in Germany…

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Manila Philippines
Site Creator – TEENMODELS2007

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