An agreement has been finally reached in the four-year legal battle involving YouTube, 3000 independent music publishers and the National Music Publishers Association, according to a Rolling Stone article. The Google-owned company has agreed to pay music licensing fees to the NMPA, meaning that YouTube will be dishing out a piece of the ad revenue pie whenever an artist’s licensed material is featured in a video, applying to covers of songs as well.
The arrangement protects songwriter’s rights, and is the first step in monetizing user-generated videos that feature copyrighted material by artists represented by the NMPA. The terms of the royalties payments remains confidential, however. The NMPA also dropped its 2007 class-action lawsuit against YouTube, which claimed that the video hosting platform enabled copyright infringement by allowing videos with copyrighted songs to be uploaded.
The arrangement does not cover the four major music publishers owned by EMI Music Group, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, each of whom has separate licensing contracts with YouTube, according to an article in the L.A. Times.
Not every publisher is on board, however. BMG Chrysallis, considered to be the fourth-largest music publisher in the world with a resume that includes work by David Bowie, Michael Jackson and Blondie, is among publishers who have not joined in the new licensing agreement yet.