YouTube and Google seem to have no luck when it comes to negotiating with the music industry. While Apple has the persuasive power of Steve Jobs, Google seems to have the persuasive power of messing with YouTube viewers to prove a point. A few months ago they removed music videos from Warner Music Group due to a contractual disagreement, and it started muting copyrighted music on non-approved videos. Now they’ve gone so far as to block music videos all together in one country.
The move comes because Google could not reach an agreement with PRS for Music, a British “songwriters’ collection society.” Unsurprisingly, PRS for Music was asking for much more money than Google was willing to give out for the music videos. So, rather than continue with the current revenue model while a new one is reached, Google just blocked all of the UK from viewing music videos on YouTube.
Having a stance on this one is really tough. On one hand, the music industry seems to lack any sort of innovation of its own and relies on other companies to produce services that it can leverage for more money. That doesn’t seem too fair to those who set up the entire service. However, there’s also the issue of Google having $5.7 billion in revenue last quarter and should be able to reach some sort of deal that doesn’t involve losing a whole lot of that in the coming years. Google does seem to donate a lot of money to movements it believes in as a company, though, so they put all that money to good use.
Either way, it sucks that all of the UK is out their music videos on YouTube until an agreement is reached. For the sake of them it would be nice to see an agreement soon.