Many of the best viewed music videos on YouTube can not be seen in Germany due to an ongoing conflict between the authors rights society GEMA and the Google.
Last week, GEMA, representing 65,000 German composers, songwriters and music publishers, called off negotiations and said it will now take its case to an arbitration body, the Deutschen Patent und Markenamt.
The organisation is claiming damages to the tune of €1.6 million. In addition, GEMA is demanding that YouTube take down the on-screen notice blocking music videos in Germany that blames GEMA for the impasse.
Since the end of March 2009, there has been no agreement between GEMA and YouTube to regulate the use of copyright-protected works of music on YouTube’s streaming-based Internet video platform.
GEMA said in a statement: “Despite efforts by both sides, the parties have still not reached agreement as of January 2013 either on the question of the service provider’s responsibility under copyright law for the content on its platform, or on the rate of compensation. GEMA is now taking initial measures to secure reasonable compensation for copyright owners.”
Because of the dispute, 60% of all music videos on YouTube are blocked. Instead a message can be seen, that explains the reason why (see picture).
The blocked videos include some of the best watched clips, such as Psy’s Gangnam Style and the Justin Bieber videos.
The German company Open Data City has made a study about the blocking of videos in the country; it is the only company specialising exclusively in data journalism in Germany. The result of the study can be seen on the interactive chart below.