In the UK, Google is blocking access to thousands of musicvideos on YouTube after it failed to reach an agreement with the MCPS-PRS Alliance, the country's main royalty collector. As PaidContent is reporting, the back-and-forth is full of the typical accusations. Google says it was being asked to pay "many, many times more for our licence than before," and would "lose significant amounts of money with every playback."
An MCPS-PRS rep, of course, sees things 180 degrees differently, stating, "Google has told us they are taking this step because they wish to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing."
In most of these types of licensing disputes, the reality is that the licensor (MCPS-PRS) things they deserve more because their content is being viewed so much more than in the past, while the licensee hasn't figured out how to monetize that content enough in order to justify the higher royalties. And so consumers lose out on the content.
And of course all this is happening against the backdrop of labels talking to YouTube about setting up a Hulu-like site focused on music videos.
Remember when MTV revolutionized the traditional music biz (please tell me you do)? Looks like YouTube might be doing the same to digital music.