Earlier this year, YouTube blocked access to all premium music videos for users in the UK after failing to reach a deal over a new license with PRS for Music (formerly the Performing Rights Society). The two sides have now finally reached a new agreement after months of ongoing discussions, lifting the block on access to thousands of music videos.
Under the terms of the agreement YouTube will pay an undisclosed sum to PRS that is backdated from January this year and will last until 2012, according to the BBC. The deal is reportedly worth tens of millions of pounds. YouTube proclaims that the videos will start to become available again over the next few days. "The music videos are an extremely popular part of YouTube and this deal doesn't only cover the music videos but also music included in TV programmes like the X Factor and also for the inclusion of music in user videos as well," YouTube's Patrick Walker told BBC News.
Andrew Shaw from PRS for Music, an organisation which represents musicians by collecting royalties for the public use of their work, said he was happy that the agreement had finally been reached. "We have 60,000 song-writer and composer members and many of them don't earn very much money at all - 90% of them earn less then Â£5,000 a year," he revealed. "The money we receive is really their living."
According to a posting on the YouTube UK blog, the site "intend to celebrate with a series of guest editorships from some of the foremost artists and magazine shows on the site." A PRS for Music statement said, "This is an achievement for songwriters, composers and the YouTube community alike and it reinforces the value of our members' work."