YouTube has born its share of lawsuits charging copyright violation and it's beat most of them (though not all). Recently, however, it has agreed to pay royalties, to French, Belgian and Luxembourgian artists whose works are viewed in those countries.Media sharing has encountered one obstacle repeatedly in its online life--copyright.
YouTube's owners Google announced the partnership today at a press conference in Paris. Movement toward this sort of accommodation began in September with an agreement with SACEM, a major French music royalty company.
In the interim, similar deals were made with Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, to bring copyrighted works online in exchange for royalties. The original French agreement has extended to include a number of other major royalty representatives bridging the arts.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Christophe Muller, head of YouTube partnerships for Southern and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, as saying the process would continue to expand.
"We are looking to collaborate with as many European artists as possible."
What does this mean for those outside of Europe? Will YouTube look to collaborate with as many African, Asian, American artists as possible as well?
The details of the royalty arrangements were not publicized. But the deal is retroactive to 2007 and will endure until 2013. It could be as much as a year until artists see any money from this deal. I'm sure all the artists of the Fifth Republic have just fallen down en masse in a dead faint, so surprised they were to hear it.
Read more ReadWriteWeb coverage of copyright issues.