YouTube has recently arrived at a deal with songwriters and music publishers to pay them royalty for the songs streamed on the site.
YouTube’s parent company, Google, has been fighting a court case with several music publishers and TV / Movie companies regarding the use of pirated and copyrighted content on YouTube since 2007. Viacom had also filed a class action suit at the same time.
In 2007, the courts ruled in favour of Google, stating that YouTube was protected by the safe harbor of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The litigants had filed an appeal against the verdict at the time.
The parties concerned have now arrived at an understanding whereby Google will pay royalties to the music company concerned for the use of their content on YouTube.
Financial details of the agreement have not been revealed.
A post on the YouTube blog says, “We already have deals in place with a number of music publishers in the U.S. and around the world, and today’s deal offers more choice for rights holders in how they manage use of their songs.”
The blog further states that “When these publishers allow YouTube to run ads alongside user-generated videos that incorporate their compositions, the publishers and the songwriters they represent can make money.”
While the deal has been signed only with publishers, it is also expected to benefit songwriters, recording artists and record labels. This will be possible thanks to Google’s Content ID technology, which allows recognition of songs and other music.
How exactly Google will monetise the content sufficiently to pay for every instance of copyright infringement is not clear. However, the relatively recent success of YouTube’s monetisation efforts obviously will play a big part in this.