May 31, 2007 9:25 AM PDT

YouTube, EMI sign breakthrough licensing pact

Google struck a deal with EMI Group on Thursday that will allow it to show the record label's collection of music videos and artist performances on YouTube.

In addition, EMI said it will work with YouTube parent company Google to develop business models enabling people to legitimately incorporate videos and performances from EMI artists into their user-generated content on YouTube. The record label said it will rely on YouTube's content management tools to track EMI content and compensate its artists, or in some cases, request the removal of copyrighted work.

"Through this agreement, EMI Music and its artists will be fairly compensated for their work," EMI Chief Executive Eric Nicoli said in a statement.

Since Google bought YouTube last October for $1.65 billion, the companies have been bombarded with legal complaints over the use of copyrighted works on the wildly popular video-sharing site. In March, for example, Viacom sued YouTube and Google, seeking more than $1 billion in damages for alleged "massive intentional copyright infringement."

For their parts, Google and YouTube have been busy signing deals to counteract or pre-empt further legal tussles. Before the EMI deal, Google has successfully negotiated licensing deals with Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, CBS and the BBC.

"With this deal, all four of the world's major music companies are now official YouTube partners," YouTube co-founder and CEO Chad Hurley said in a statement.

For Web surfers, the EMI deal means that they will be able to watch professionally produced music videos on YouTube from artists such as David Bowie, Coldplay, The Decemberists, Fatboy Slim, Gorillaz, Lily Allen and Norah Jones.

See more CNET content tagged:
EMI Group Plc., YouTube, artist, Google Inc., video

 

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