updated 02:05 pm EST, Mon December 22, 2008
Warner and YouTube split
Music videos from popular artists under the Warner Music label are disappearing from YouTube as talks regarding new licensing terms between the two companies have come to a halt, according to a Sunday New York Times report. Before the dispute, Warner Music had posted thousands of music videos from its artists on the Google-owned YouTube site, which accounted for billions of hits on the most popular video-sharing website. YouTube has informed its visitors on Friday via a blog post that the Warner Music videos, including user-generated videos with Warner music in the background, would begin disappearing.
Warner Music and other major music labels such as Universal Music, Sony BMG and EMI signed agreements with YouTube two years ago that paid them a small amount for every viewing of a music video as well as a share of the advertising revenue. The Warner agreement with YouTube ended months ago. Warner Music said new terms "fail to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers for the value they provide."
Earlier this summer, Viacom and the Football Association of England brought copyright infringement charges to YouTube, which have been settled. Italy's MediaSet also sued YouTube this past summer over copyrighted content to the tune of $779 million.
"If we don't get this business model right, it's going to be a lot harder to fix down the road," said an unnamed executive close to Warner Music. The same source said less than 1 percent of the $639 million from digital revenue came from YouTube's ads and fees. Warner Music will continue to distribute music videos with other websites including MySpace Music and AOL.