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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik