reaching a settlement with the video-hosting giant.The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), a group that represents hundreds of songwriters and music publishers, has backed out of four-year-old litigation against YouTube after
The agreement, which the Google-owned video site struck with the NMPA and its subsidiary Harry Fox Agency, will allow music publishers and songwriters to start getting royalties from songs posted to YouTube, whether the post includes the original music video or a user-generated one.
YouTube has become a major force in the music world, as consumers have increasingly turned to the site to quickly check out songs and music videos without having to deal with sign-up screens and subscription fees. As a result, YouTube has also become a target of lawsuits from the music industry, most notably Viacom, who sued Google in 2007. After a nasty legal battle, a judge ruled in Google's favor last summer, citing the "safe harbor" provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA).
Under this new settlement, YouTube will create a new licensing option for songwriters and publishers whose music appears on the site so that they can recieve royalties and ad revenue from the ads that run on each video. YouTube's audio and video matching tool Content ID will be used to detect which compositions are owned by a given artist, even if the version uploaded is a cover by another artist.
In the absence of such an agreement, we could have seen a great deal of music pulled down from YouTube, if this lawsuit didn't go Google's way.
"We've long had agreements with all four major record labels as well as dozens of independent labels, and now that we are broadening our coverage with more publishers, we'll be able to create more revenue streams for all of them," the company said in a post on the YouTube blog.