As you may aware, the UK’s Performing Right Society (PRS) has had a “little falling out” with YouTube. Basically, as far as I can tell from the BBC reports, YouTube is not willing to pay what the PRS is requesting (some say the PRS is asking for considerably more money the currently, some say that YouTube is offering considerable less).
Anyway, without an agreement with PRS in place to pay royalties to artists and songwriters, YouTube has no right to play their music in the UK. YouTube is, therefore, following the law and PRS’s own policies by blocking those music videos on their site: as they don’t have permission from PRS to play the music.
However, Feargal Sharkey of the UK Music industry body is saying that by following the rules YouTube is using a “blatant, cynical, manipulative” negotiating tactic. So now YouTube is in the wrong because they are following the rules? If they didn’t block the videos, they’ll be breaking the law – but by blocking the videos PRS’s artists are missing out on exposure… I think the PRS needs to think which is more worth while: having lowish quality music videos available on YouTube for potential purchasers to come across and then buy singles (and therefore let YouTube host them for free), or demand so much money from YouTube that it’s not worth them offering the music videos.
You can’t have it both ways PRS!