YouTube and the French music-rights collection agency SACEM just announced a deal that ensures that artists are compensated when their music is played on the French version of Google's popular video sharing site. According to SACEM, "the license covers the international repertoire managed by SACEM including in particular the Anglo-American repertoire of multinational publishers, as well as other works managed by SACEM present on the platform, from the launch of the service in France to 2012." In total, YouTube now has similar deals in eight countries.

Christophe Muller, Director of Partnerships Southern and Eastern Europe and Middle East, YouTube: "Since the launch of YouTube in Europe we've been working hard to forge relationships that allow YouTube users to enjoy their favourite songs and discover new music on the site. We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with SACEM to help their members earn revenue and to enable new musical talents to emerge."

Agreement in France, Court Case in German

One of the countries where YouTube has not been able to reach an agreement yet is Germany. There, according to Bloomberg, the music rights collection agency GEMA is about to challenge Google in the Regional Court of Hamburg after talks between the two organizations broke down earlier this year. The Germany collection agency wants to prevent YouTube from displaying 75 compositions on its site.

Over the years, the relationship between GEMA and YouTube has been rather tumultuous and it doesn't look like Google will be able to reach an agreement there anytime soon. Earlier this year, for example, negotiations between the two organizations broke down when GEMA asked YouTube to remove 600 videos from its service. Last year, YouTube blocked access to all GEMA-licensed music on its German site for a while after the two organizations couldn't agree on a new fee structure and just a few weeks ago, a German court also ruled that YouTube has to pay damages to classical crossover soprano Sarah Brightman.