PRS: YouTube's actions will punish users

PRS angry with YouTube's actions
PRS angry with YouTube's actions

The Performing Rights Society has reacted angrily to the claims that it forced YouTube into taking down music videos in the UK, saying it is "outraged on behalf of users".

Negotiations between the two bodies came to an abrupt halt on Monday afternoon, when Steve Porter, CEO for PRS for Music, apparently received a call informing him of YouTube's decision:

"We were shocked and disappointed to receive a call late this afternoon informing us of Google's drastic action which we believe only punishes British consumers and the songwriters whose interests we protect and represent.

Massive increase

"Google has told us they are taking this step because they wish to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing.

"This action has been taken without any consultation with PRS for Music and in the middle of negotiations between the two parties. PRS for Music has not requested Google to do this and urges them to reconsider their decision as a matter of urgency."

Whether this is a bargaining chip by YouTube, or an actual moral standpoint over it feeling like its being held to ransom, will only become clear when the matter is resolved.


We'll also be watching with interest over whether YouTube takes down all the unofficial content on its site, given that many songs appear multiple times without the necessary legal consent'.

The feud echoes that which forced online radio station Pandora to close in the UK, which claimed that it deserved a different licensing model online, and other sites, like Imeem, have run into similar problems too.

The PRS has been fairly vigilant in stopping any kind of music distribution it deems piracy, with even Kwik-Fit mechanics forced to turn off their radio as broadcasting it around the workshop was seen to be illegal.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.