YouTube threatens to remove music videos in Denmark over songwriter royalty fallout

 YouTube threatens to remove music videos in Denmark over songwriter royalty fallout

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YouTube is embroiled in a really public spat with songwriters and music publishers in Denmark, by way of native assortment society Koda.

According to Koda – Denmark’s equal of ASCAP/BMI (US) or PRS For Music (UK) – YouTube has threatened to remove “Danish music content” (ie. music written by Danish songwriters) from its service.

The reason behind this menace is a disagreement between the 2 events over the remuneration of songwriters and publishers in the market.

YouTube and Koda’s final multi-year licensing deal expired in April. Since then, the 2 events have been working beneath a brief license settlement.

At the identical time, Polaris, the umbrella physique for assortment societies in the Nordics, has been negotiating with YouTube over a brand new Scandinavia-wide licensing settlement.

But in an announcement to media immediately (July 31), Koda claims YouTube is insisting that – in order to lengthen its momentary deal in Denmark – Koda should now agree to a near-70% discount in funds to composers and songwriters.

YouTube has fired again at this declare, suggesting that beneath its current momentary cope with Koda (which expires immediately), the physique “earned back less than half of the guarantee payments” handed over by the service.

YouTube says that its newer provide “reflects this gap in performance”, however has been rejected by Koda “on the basis that the minimum guarantee was not at the same level as the [previous] deal”

“The fact that Google now demands that the payments due from them should be reduced by almost 70% in connection with a temporary contract extension seems quite bizarre.”

Gorm Arildsen, Koda (pictured)

In response to Koda’s refusal to agree to YouTube’s proposed deal, Koda claims that “on the evening of Thursday 30 July, Google announced that they will soon remove all Danish music content on YouTube”.

Reports out of Denmark counsel YouTube might pull the plug on this content material as quickly as this Saturday.

Dan Chalmers, director of YouTube Music, EMEA, mentioned: “People around the world love coming to YouTube to watch music videos. They’re able to do this because of the licensing agreements we have with the overwhelming majority of music labels and publishers. We’ve been working to renew our license with the licensing body KODA.

“While we’ve had productive conversations we have been unable to secure a fair and equitable agreement before our existing one expired. They are asking for substantially more than what we pay our other partners. This is not only unfair to our other YouTube partners and creators, it is unhealthy for the wider economics of our industry.

“Without a new license, we’re unable to make their content available in Denmark.  Our doors remain open to Koda to bring their content back to YouTube.”

YouTube added in an announcement to MBW: “We take copyright law very seriously. As our license expires today and since we have been unable to secure an agreement we will remove identified Koda content from the platform.”

Koda says it “cannot accept” YouTube’s phrases, and that because of this “Google have now unilaterally decided that Koda’s members cannot have their content shown on YouTube”.

Koda says it’s “puzzled by the extremely aggressive approach taken by Google in the negotiations”, claiming that it believed progress had been made in the Polaris negotiations with YouTube in current weeks.

“Without a new license, we’re unable to make [Koda’s] content available in Denmark. Our doors remain open to Koda to bring their content back to YouTube.”

Dan Chalmers, YouTube

Koda’s media director, Kaare Struve, mentioned: “Google have always taken an ‘our way or the highway’ approach, but even for Google, this is a low point.

“Of course, Google know that they can create enormous frustration among our members by denying them access to YouTube – and among the many Danes who use YouTube every day.

“We can only suppose that by doing so, YouTube hope to be able to push through an agreement, one where they alone dictate all terms.”

Koda says that ever since its first settlement with YouTube was signed in 2013, “the level of payments received from YouTube has been significantly lower than the level of payment [distributed] by subscription-based services”.

Koda’s CEO, Gorm Arildsen, mentioned: “It is no secret that our members have been very dissatisfied with the level of payment received for the use of their music on YouTube for many years now. And it’s no secret that we at Koda have actively advocated putting an end to the tech giants’ free-ride approach and underpayment for artistic content in connection with the EU’s new Copyright Directive.

“The fact that Google now demands that the payments due from them should be reduced by almost 70% in connection with a temporary contract extension seems quite bizarre.”

YouTube had an identical spat with Germany’s incumbent assortment society, GEMA, for seven years, with chart music videos blocked on the Google platform in the nation.

That disagreement came to an end in 2016, and music videos returned to YouTube in the nation.

Yesterday (July 31), Alphabet introduced that YouTube turned over $3.81bn from promoting in Q2, up on the $3.60bn the platform generated in the prior yr quarter.Music Business Worldwide

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