Thursday, April 2, 2009

Life isn't easy in Germany - YouTube geotarding continues

The New York Times reports:

YouTube has stopped showing music videos in Germany as a dispute over royalty payments in Europe spread.

On Tuesday night, YouTube, a unit of Google, began blocking music videos in Germany after as the expiration of its 17-month contract with GEMA, an agency representing songwriters, composers and music publishers. YouTube took a similar move three weeks ago in Britain after a contract expired there.

You'll recall that I already talked about the YouTube issues in Britain. So what's happened in Germany?

Negotiations on a new pact broke down after GEMA sought to raise the fee to 1 euro cent (1.3 U.S. cents) per video and asked Google for a detailed list of which music videos had been viewed.

YouTube, the largest video streaming Web site in the world, has 13 million unique users in Germany, a spokesman, Henning Dorstewitz, said. Each user watches at least one music video a month on average, so the new cost would add up to payments of more than $1.6 million annually. He called the costs demanded by GEMA “prohibitive.”

By way of comparison:

The British group is seeking 0.22 of a cent per streamed video from YouTube, far less than what the German group is requesting.

So the English and Germans presumably can't enjoy this:

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