YouTube has pulled thousands of music videos off its UK web site in a dispute over rates and reporting with British collection society PRS. The take down could take several days, but gone will be videos from all four majors (WMG's were pulled several weeks ago in an unrelated dispute) and most indies.
In a statement, PRS cried foul. "Google has told us they are taking this step because they wish to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing. This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS for Music and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties."
But Google paints a very different picture. "PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our license than before...we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback. In addition, PRS is unwilling to tell us what songs are included in the license they can provide so that we can identify those works...that’s like asking a consumer to buy an unmarked CD without knowing what musicians are on it." Negotiations are said to be continuing to resolve the dispute.