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October 01, 2010

YouTube to Pay French Musicians for Their Videos
By Beecher Tuttle
TMCnet Web Editor

Following nearly three years of contentious negotiations, YouTube (News - Alert) has inked a deal with France’s largest music industry group to compensate artists for the songs that are streamed through Google’s online video sharing website.

While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the announcement marks a major victory for SACEM, a Paris-based group that currently collects royalties for more than 100,000 members.

“It is important and symbolic that YouTube, the largest video-sharing site, pay French creators when their content is discovered and viewed on the site,” said SACEM chief executive Bernard Miyet.

“I am satisfied that the open-mindedness of each and a common will to end in a well-balanced result allowed us to surmount the difficulties inherent to the negotiation of an agreement concerning such an innovative but complex model,” he added

Although the deal will only run through 2012, it will be applied retroactively back to 2007, meaning YouTube will have to cut a fairly large check in the near future. The agreement will allow YouTube to broadcast SACEM-sponsored content in France, Luxembourg and Andorra, Digital Media Wire reports.

The current deal is the eighth one that YouTube has made with local rights agencies outside the U.S.

Christophe Muller, director of partnerships for YouTube in Europe and the Middle East, told Bloomberg (News - Alert) News that the company will continue to negotiate agreements with other countries to push the video sharing website to new heights.

In related news, GEMA, a German music industry group, recently announced that it plans to pursue a case against YouTube after the two parties failed to reach a similar agreement.

“We have always been open to a mutually-acceptable deal with GEMA, but its licensing costs remain cost prohibitive,” YouTube said in statement. “When we pushed for further discussions, GEMA refused to speak with us and instead took us to court.”

Beecher Tuttle is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf


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