YouTube is currently working on its own paid music streaming service that will let users watch videos and listen to tunes without ads. As intriguing as this may sound, it could come at the expense of the outlet’s relationship with several indie bands. Historically, the Google-owned video streaming platform has been a major springboard for independent record labels looking to gain mainstream exposure, but this could soon change. According to Financial Times, YouTube will start blocking videos from record labels that haven’t signed licensing deals with the company’s subscription-based service.
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After years of major record labels keeping the revenue from their ad-supported content on YouTube and VEVO, HollywoodReporter reported today that the National Music Publishers’ Association announced a deal with Universal Music Group (one of the owners of VEVO), which will see the label pay indie music publishers for the content:
The NMPA termed the agreement, which covers North America, a groundbreaking model licensing deal because it will allow songwriters and music publishers to share in revenue from music videos. Up until now, while Youtube and VEVO were making money on their ad-supported services, indie music publishers had not shared in that revenue because the major labels long considered videos as promotional tools and never paid for licensing the songs used in the videos. But as it became a growing revenue stream, indie publishers began to grumble that the major labels paid the major publishing companies but none of the independent music publishers.
The specifics of the deal have not been made public, but the report claimed that sources said publishers would get 15 percent of advertising revenues related to their content. It also claimed the deal would be “retroactive back to 2008” with the amount for 2008 and 2009 set at 10 percent. The deal is said to cover not just music videos, but also “concert footage, backstage videos and artist interviews.”
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Wired‘s got some good news for Amazon, Google, Dropbox and anyone else who stores music in the Cloud. The practice is legal and doesn’t infringe on record company rights. Additionally, Cloud companies need not store multiple copies of the same song, so long as each users file is the exact same copy, including MD5 hash (same bit rates, album art, etc).
In a complicated federal court decision Monday (see Threat Level’s write-up), a New York federal court judge ruled that the practice was legal — but only insofar as the single storage method is done for exactly unique copies. So for instance, all people who bought “Stairway to Heaven” as an MP3 from Amazon would have the exact same file (as determined by an MD5 Hash) and MP3tunes could just store a single copy.
However, the ruling makes clear that if MP3tunes scanned a customer’s music collection and found “Stairway to Heaven” ripped from a CD with a slightly different file size, the company could not simply substitute a master copy. Instead, that customer would have to upload the file.
The decision also said that allowing “sideloading” of songs was legal. That was the feature of MP3tunes that let users add songs they’d found on webpages, such as music blogs, directly to their online locker.