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Google blocks UK from YouTube music videos

Warwick Ashford

Google is blocking UK access to music videos on YouTube because of a licensing row with the Performing Rights Society (PRS).

According to Google, licensing negotiations for the UK stalled because of "prohibitive licensing fees" and a "lack of transparency".

Google described the move as a "painful decision", but said the PRS had ramped up the cost of licensing and was unwilling to disclose what songs were included in the proposed deal.

Patrick Walker, EMEA director of video partnerships at Google, said the company would block music videos in the UK until mutually acceptable terms were reached.

The PRS said it was "outraged on behalf of consumers and songwriters" by Google's action.

"This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties," the royalty collection group said in a statement.

PRS has called on Google to reconsider the decision as a matter of urgency.

Steve Porter, chief executive at PRS, said, "[Google's action] only punishes British consumers and the songwriters, whose interests we protect and represent."


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