YouTube to block premium videos in UK

9 Mar 2009

YouTube is now blocking all premium music videos in the UK after failing to reach a licensing agreement with the Performing Rights Society (PRS).

PRS for Music exists to help businesses and community groups get access to some of the world’s best-loved music, while making sure that songwriters, composers and publishers are rightfully rewarded whenever their musical works are played, performed or reproduced.

The organisation said it is outraged on behalf of consumers and songwriters that Google has chosen to close down access to music videos on YouTube in the UK.

Google told PRS that it was taking this step because it wishes to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which its service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing.

PRS said the decision was taken without any consultation and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties. 

PRS has urged YouTube to reconsider the decision as a matter of urgency.

Steve Porter, CEO PRS for Music, said: “We were shocked and disappointed to receive a call late this afternoon informing us of Google’s drastic action, which we believe only punishes UK consumers and the songwriters whose interests we protect and represent.”

PRS for Music provides the permissions needed to use music for any product or space, from a TV programme or YouTube video to the workplace radio and every possibility in between.

It said its activities deliver vital income to its 60,000 members.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years