Thursday, April 02, 2009


From earlier today:

Negotiations between Google subsidiary YouTube and the German collection society GEMA about the extension of their licensing agreement have broken down, according to a statement from GEMA's Munich-based CEO Dr. Harald Heker.

GEMA reported that YouTube will now block access to music videos on the German YouTube platform, even though the collection society stressed it would be willing to continue the negotiations.
The German licensing agreement, which expired on March 31, enabled YouTube to provide access to music videos, films and user-generated content featuring GEMA repertoire.

"Negotiations about the extension of the agreement have failed so far because YouTube is not willing to fulfil GEMA's requests for more transparency [relating to] the used musical repertoire," Heker said.
He added: "YouTube wants the extension [to the license] on the basis of a flat fee without sufficient information [provided to GEMA] about the used repertoire and the number of streams. GEMA refuses this offer by YouTube because it is impossible to calculate a fair remuneration without the requested information and to pay this remuneration in an adequate way to GEMA's members."

There is also a financial dispute over the rate to be paid. According to GEMA, it offered a rate of €0.01 (1.3 cents) per stream and says Google/YouTube refused this offer.
"This €0.01 for an interim solution is already too much and actually GEMA demands €0.12 [15.9 cents] per stream for a long-term agreement," says Hamburg-based Google spokesman Hennig Dorstewitz.

Heker commented: "Other European collection societies are in the same difficult position to succeed [in negotiations] with Google/YouTube with their request for proper notifications and a reasonable remuneration. GEMA is ready for this conflict in order to protect the interests of the authors, represented by GEMA. The German authors are upset and [they] criticize YouTube's business methods."
Read the full story HERE

OK, so I'm seeing some people talk about Western Europe becoming a 'difficult' territory for web based music service and I can understand Google being hesitant to enter into an agreement where the fee ends up around 16 cents per stream but as a songwriter, I find it disgusting that they're still trying to strong arm the situation by offering a 'flat fee' without providing information.

YouTube is now a legitimate platform for fans to view their favorite artists videos, as MTV and other music television channels used to be, so why should the songwriters, producers and artists be unfairly paid for this? They've got to take responsibility for their position as the new music television instead of falling back on their monopolisation of the market and saying "fuck it we don't have to do shit because you need us".

I know this is only Germany and UK at this stage but they need to come to a compromise so that all music associations around the world can adapt, otherwise legitimate music videos on YouTube will be short lived. Then where do people watch music videos?

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