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Tuesday, March 10, 2009
YouTube Blocks UK Music Videos

Google said Monday it will block U.K. users from watching music videos on its popular video-sharing site YouTube after negotiations with Britain's music royalty-collecting body broke down.

The company said that it would block premium music videos in the UK that had been supplied or claimed by record labels that Google failled to reach a new licensing agreement with.

Google's previous license from Performing Right Society (PRS) PRS for Music had expired, and the company said that they had been unable to come to an agreement to renew it on terms that are economically sustainable Google.

Google said that the costs were prohibitive for the company and that under PRS's proposed terms we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback.

"This was a painful decision, and we know the significant disappointment it will cause within the UK," said Patrick Walker, Director of Video Partnerships, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Youtube.

YouTube has also complained of a lack of transparency by the PRS, saying the organisation would not specify exactly which artists would be covered by any new deal.

"That's like asking a consumer to buy a blank CD without knowing what musicians are on it," a statement from YouTube says on its official blog.

PRS for Music acts as an agent for British songwriters, composers and music publishers by collecting royalties for performances of their works.

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