Now YouTube stops the music in Germany

At this rate, YouTube will have precious little music left. After blocking all music to UK users while demanding lower PRS fees, the video site is now yanking tunes in Germany, after the expiration of its contract with local royalty collector GEMA on Thursday.

The difference? GEMA’s rates are 50 times more than even PRS’, GooTube EMEA head Patrick Walker told Der Spiegel: “It’s unprecedented in the history of music video streaming.” While PRS charges £0.0022 per track, GEMA’s standard on-demand music rate is €0.12 (£0.11) for every song up to five minutes, and more for longer tracks and those with ads. That seems to be at least a €120,000 bill for every million music streams.

GEMA tells Der Spiegel it had, in fact, offered YouTube a rate of just €0.01 per track – but says YouTube is not ready to give it the transparency it wants, in return, on its required repertoire. So it looks like the fragmentation of European copyright collection is scuppering this relationship, too. GEMA chief executive Harald Heker, in a release, said: “It is a fundamental clash between GEMA and Google/YouTube from. Other European companies, which are also use musical rights, are in the same difficult situation. GEMA represents 60,000 composers, authors and music publishers and the rights of more than a million copyright owners internationally whose works are used in Germany.

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