YouTube yanks music videos from German site

Meanwhile Billy Bragg takes a swipe at Google


YouTube has blocked thousands of music videos in Germany, after a contract between Google and the country’s royalties’ collector, GEMA, expired on Tuesday.

The free video-sharing site rejected GEMA’s request for an interim agreement to be drawn up to provide one cent to artists for each video played, according to German newspaper Der Spiegel.

YouTube told the outfit such a proposal was invalid, because the Google-owned site doesn’t charge its users to access the content it streams.

GEMA boss Harald Heker described YouTube’s decision to block the music videos of major record companies as a “fundamental clash” between the two sides.

YouTube’s latest move comes just weeks after talks broke down with the Performing Rights Society (PRS), which is the UK’s music royalties’ collector.

UK viewers found themselves on the receiving end of a escalating row last month when YouTube yanked most of its music videos from its site after negotiations with the PRS turned sour.

The newly-formed Featured Artists’ Coalition was quick to respond to YouTube’s latest scuffle with yet another European royalties collection group by declaring its support for the PRS.

“We condemn Google’s use of its near-monopoly to dictate terms to PRS for Music,” it said in a statement.

“We ask them to get their tanks off our lawn and to either accept the decision of the Copyright Tribunal or else negotiate a reasonable offer based on a transparent analysis of YouTube’s advertising revenue income.”

Meanwhile, protest singer/musician Billy Bragg took time out from shouting at bankers to have another pop at Google by writing a letter to the Times.

Ex-Bee Gee Robin Gibb, record producer Pete Waterman and Bragg penned the missive, which accuses Google of cheapening the importance of music in its spat over royalties, and has the support of more than 500 songwriters and musicians.

The three men called on YouTube to reinstate music videos “and pay a fair price for it”. Bragg accused Google of “using its monopoly in the marketplace to dictate terms” to songwriters.

Google, which refuses to reveal how much advertising revenue YouTube pulls in, continues to argue that it cannot charge its users to access the videos on its site. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Google has more reasons why it doesn't like antitrust law that affects Google
    It'll ruin Gmail, claims web ads giant

    Google has a fresh list of reasons why it opposes tech antitrust legislation making its way through Congress but, like others who've expressed discontent, the ad giant's complaints leave out mention of portions of the proposed law that address said gripes.

    The law bill in question is S.2992, the Senate version of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), which is closer than ever to getting votes in the House and Senate, which could see it advanced to President Biden's desk.

    AICOA prohibits tech companies above a certain size from favoring their own products and services over their competitors. It applies to businesses considered "critical trading partners," meaning the company controls access to a platform through which business users reach their customers. Google, Apple, Amazon, and Meta in one way or another seemingly fall under the scope of this US legislation. 

    Continue reading
  • Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near
    Overhaul of Chrome add-ons set for January, Google says it's for all our own good

    Special report Seven months from now, assuming all goes as planned, Google Chrome will drop support for its legacy extension platform, known as Manifest v2 (Mv2). This is significant if you use a browser extension to, for instance, filter out certain kinds of content and safeguard your privacy.

    Google's Chrome Web Store is supposed to stop accepting Mv2 extension submissions sometime this month. As of January 2023, Chrome will stop running extensions created using Mv2, with limited exceptions for enterprise versions of Chrome operating under corporate policy. And by June 2023, even enterprise versions of Chrome will prevent Mv2 extensions from running.

    The anticipated result will be fewer extensions and less innovation, according to several extension developers.

    Continue reading
  • UK competition watchdog seeks to make mobile browsers, cloud gaming and payments more competitive
    Investigation could help end WebKit monoculture on iOS devices

    The United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday said it intends to launch an investigation of Apple's and Google's market power with respect to mobile browsers and cloud gaming, and to take enforcement action against Google for its app store payment practices.

    "When it comes to how people use mobile phones, Apple and Google hold all the cards," said Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, in a statement. "As good as many of their services and products are, their strong grip on mobile ecosystems allows them to shut out competitors, holding back the British tech sector and limiting choice."

    The decision to open a formal investigation follows the CMA's year-long study of the mobile ecosystem. The competition watchdog's findings have been published in a report that concludes Apple and Google have a duopoly that limits competition.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022