Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube U.K. Settles Royalty Fight, Turns Music Videos Back On Again

anarchy-in-the-ukRejoice, British Web surfers! You’ll soon be able to watch your favorite music videos on YouTube again.

Google has reached a settlement with a British licensing group in a dispute over royalty payments, which means that YouTube’s U.K. outpost will begin showing licensed music videos again. The clips disappeared five months ago when YouTube and PRS for Music, the U.K. body that collects money on behalf of songwriters, couldn’t come to terms.

Google (GOOG) executives wouldn’t disclose how much they’re paying songwriters for the rights to play videos that feature their songs, but said they would be cutting PRS for Music a single check that covers the length of the deal. The new pact will extend through June 2012 and will retroactively stretch back to the beginning of this year.

The deal may provide a blueprint for resolving a similar dispute between the video site and a German rights society. But I’m not sure it will do much for the one Google is still (still!) stuck in with Warner Music Group (WMG).

Meanwhile, this video doesn’t feature a British composer or performer and wasn’t shot in Britain. No connection at all, really. But if you like Lou Reed, louche ’70s fashion and/or awesome ’70s facial hair, you’re gonna like it.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald