Europe vs. Google/YouTube, round 4: now it’s the music majors again

29 Jan, 2013



The president of Universal Music France (part of the Vivendi group) spoke fighting words about YouTube yesterday at Midem, the yearly society ball of the music industry in Cannes.

Pascal Nègre said he’d pull all of Universal’s music clips from the platform if YouTube didn’t reinstall the advertising that is played before the clips.

Apparently YouTube and the French copyrights collection agency Sacem have a revenue sharing deal for the ads that run before music videos. That contract was scheduled to be renewed by 2013, but it never got signed. In response, YouTube pulled the ads from the music videos. “Blackmail,” say some music industry players.

In Germany, Google/YouTube is also battling out a trench war with collection agency GEMA, as we wrote earlier (which caused GEMA to pop up in the Kim Dotcom saga, by the way). Gema is asking YouTube for 0,375 eurocents per stream, which is what Spotify pays per streamed song. YouTube says that’s too high. GEMA recently broke off the negotiations.

Sacem in France is still talking to YouTube, it said. YouTube said it hoped to resolve the matter ‘in the next few days’.

As we wrote before, Google and other big US consumer web companies are increasingly under pressure in Europe, both from rights holders and governments.

via Les Echos, photo: mauritsonline, Flickr

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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