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Warner Music, YouTube Partner On Videos

By: David Utter

The agreement between the popular video sharing site YouTube and major music label Warner will be hailed as a victory for consumer-generated content proponents.

Warner Music, YouTube Partner On VideosIt isn't just the distribution aspect of the deal between Warner Music Group (WMG) and YouTube that poses the most interesting concept.

Instead, YouTube's users will be able to use songs made by Warner Music artists in their videos without the fear of a RIAA lawsuit coming their way. AP reported on the noteworthy facet of the music agreement:

Besides it namesake label, the Warner Music family includes Atlantic, Asylum, Elektra and Rhino " a group that includes vintage recording artists like Led Zeppelin, the Doors and Ray Charles, as well recent hit makers like Linkin Park, Green Day and Faith Hill.

"Technology is changing entertainment, and Warner Music is embracing that innovation," said Warner Music Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. "Consumer-empowering destinations like YouTube have created a two-way dialogue that will transform entertainment and media forever."

Bronfman has been a proponent of modernizing the music industry's consideration of the Internet, his battles with Apple CEO Steve Jobs over iTunes Music Store pricing notwithstanding.

Considering the dispute with Jobs and the pricing models used at iTunes, a single price for songs as opposed to the multi-tiered prices the music labels want, Bronfman's blessing on this deal looks quite curious. There is a caveat to the usage of music by ordinary users, as cited in the article:

Both companies are betting they will be able to make money from the ads that will show up alongside Warner Music's own videos as well as amateur videos featuring copyrighted material.

To make the deal happen, YouTube developed a royalty-tracking system that will detect when homemade videos are using copyrighted material. YouTube says the technology will enable Warner Music to review the video and decide whether it wants to approve or reject it.

While there is more freedom than there was before today with regards to using Warner's music in YouTube-hosted videos, it is not a complete capitulation to the wants of Internet users. It is a sharp contrast to the position of Universal Music CEO Doug Morris, who has suggested lawsuits against YouTube and MySpace over copyright infringement may be in the offing.

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