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Friday, August 31, 2007

YouTube agrees to royalty deal for UK performers

Today, the MCPS-PRS Alliance and YouTube announced an agreement to license more than ten million pieces of music to YouTube, which will recognize the contribution of the creators of that music to the service. The MCPS-PRS Alliance collects royalties for more than fifty thousand composers, songwriters, and publishers in the UK. The deal will allow each of the fifty thousand artists to be paid when their works are played on YouTube.

MCPS and PRS are the not-for-profit UK collecting societies that ensure composers, songwriters, and publishers are paid royalties when their music is used; from live performance to TV and radio, CDs to DVDs, downloads, streams and everything in between. Royalties create a future for music by supporting creators while they continue to write. MCPS and PRS are committed to delivering maximum royalties and world-class service.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, is the world's largest online video community. YouTube has faced no end to mounting attacks and lawsuits over their user published content. Most of the claims against YouTube are over royalties and IP violations. Viacom, who is the largest of their opposition, is already prepping witnesses, and their case for the $1.5 billion suit they filed against Google over the content displayed on YouTube.

"We're pleased to be working in cooperation with the MCPS-PRS Alliance to provide the YouTube community in the UK with the best possible user experience. This agreement is another great example of how we are working with the music industry to explore new and creative ways to compensate music creators," Chad Hurley, CEO and Co-Founder of YouTube said.

Adding to that Steve Porter, of the MCPS-PRS said, "We are delighted to have concluded this deal with YouTube and to be the first collecting society outside the US to do so. Whether it is music videos, user uploads or other audio visual content, our agreement will allow our fifty-thousand songwriter, composer, and music publisher members to be paid when their creative talents are being enjoyed on YouTube's service across the UK."

The deal marks the first fully settled agreement of this kind. Although some U.S. royalty collecting societies have reached interim arrangements with YouTube, none of them are at the stage where final compensation values are ready to be set. Under the terms of this agreement, YouTube will pay a blanket fee to the MCPS-PRS for their content.


YouTube Inc. will begin paying U.K. artists whenever their tracks are used as backing music for clips on its Web site, according to reports Thursday.

The MCPS-PRS Alliance, a British society that collects royalties for composers, songwriters and publishers, said it will license more than 10 million musical pieces to YouTube for use on its British version.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Revenue will be distributed to artists by the Alliance based on estimated uses.

YouTube, which is owned by Mountain View-based Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been criticized by some media companies who say the video-sharing site encourages improper use of copyrighted material

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