PRS for Music extends YouTube licensing deal

PRS for Music logo canvasPRS for Music has extended its multi-territory licensing deal with YouTube. The agreement includes mechanical rights for works represented by the UK copyright agency’s MCPS and IMPEL branches.

“PRS for Music fully recognises the breadth of opportunity on the horizon with YouTube and other open platforms and is committed to achieving fair remuneration for rightsholders and a level licensing playing field,” CEO Robert Ashcroft said of the arrangement.

This extension is especially notable because PRS for Music has been a vocal critic of safe harbor provisions, the rules that protect services against any copyright infringements that occur through user-generated content. YouTube and SoundCloud are often cited as top beneficiaries of those rules, and Ashcroft has called them out as causing problems for the industry. “There is a huge gap between the value that some digital platforms derive from music and what they pay to creators and this cannot continue,” he said last year. The group even filed a lawsuit against SoundCloud in August over royalty questions. Despite those past critiques, PRS for Music now has licensing agreements with both platforms.

Anna Washenko