YouTube and the PRS

YouTube has always been one of my favourite sites on the Internet and so I’m extremely disappointed that a row between the site owners, Google, and the Performing Rights Society has culminated in them prohibiting UK users access to thousands of music videos.Apparently the two groups were unable to find “mutually acceptable terms for a new licence” as PRS had proposed new payment terms resulting in YouTube paying a greater figure to show the video than it makes from the advertising displayed on the same page.The sad fact is that until terms are settled, UK viewers will simply reach a message saying ‘the video you have chosen isn’t available in your country’ whenever they try to play a music video.

The PRS, along with TV licensing, is one of those groups that I’m surprised are allowed to exist in their current guise within the modern day world.If we can focus on the subject of TV licensing briefly, I have a television which I use for watching DVD movies and Sky channels only.Unfortunately as it is physically capable of receiving BBC channels I am obliged to pay a yearly fee that goes directly to the BBC.It does however seem absurd that a company can choose to broadcast an unencrypted signal to my house without my permission and then have the audacity to bill me for it.

My bitterness in the YouTube issue is increased as, although I see the need for a group such as the PRS in certain instances, it appears that they have let their power go to their heads a little lately.There are stories of them charging community centres that allow children to sing carols in public and requiring that football clubs pay royalties for chants made by spectators, including traditional songs recently covered by modern performers.Their argument that all workplaces with a radio should hold a public entertainment license doesn’t stack up; the BBC is funded through the TV license fee so everybody has the right to listen to it free of charge.The PRS are also potentially endangering commercial radio as the income generated by advertising revenue is closely related to viewing figures which will certainly drop as people are forced to turn off during the working day to avoid fees.

In the past I have reviewed a site called Vimeo ( which offers an extremely high quality sound and video quality with more than 13,000 videos updated daily.I have tended to find the emphasis on Vimeo being unique and creative content and while there are some truly fantastic videos to be found on their site the fact that commercial videos aren’t allowed means it cannot be considered a viable replacement for YouTube.

A site called Daily Motion ( is certainly a viable alternative.Although both sites were registered at approximately the same time, Daily Motion is currently ranked by Alexa as the 69th most popular site on the Internet compared with YouTube which is 3rd.Also, the extent of content available isn’t quite as impressive but with approximately 20,000 new videos (including plenty of high definition and official content) being uploaded daily the gap is narrowing.


About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.