New Deals With Publishers Will Allow YouTube To Monetize Nearly All UGC With Copyright Music

By Megan O'Neill 

If you share a lot of videos on YouTube then odds are you’ve had your fair share of accidental copyright violations—you upload a video with a song you love in the background only to get a notification that the audio has been removed.  Today YouTube has announced a whole slew of new publishing deals that will make these instances few and far between.

Elizabeth Moody, head of strategic partner development for YouTube Music, writes on the YouTube blog, “Today we’re happy to share that we’ve reached publishing deals with BMG Rights Management, Christian Copyright Solutions, ABKCO Music, Inc., Songs Music Publishing, Words & Music, Copyright Administration, Music Services, Reservoir Media Management, and Song of Virtual – which means more of the great music you all love on YouTube, and more opportunities for artists to make money.  These publishers represent works from artists like Adele, Cee Lo Green, Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, and many others.”

If you are familiar with YouTube Content ID then you know that YouTube uses the service to scan videos that are uploaded to the site and determine whether or not they contain copyrighted material.  In the past, if a video contained copyright music then the audio track was deleted or the video was taken down.  YouTube now gives content owners the option to leave the copyrighted material in the User Generated videos and to place ads on the videos to make money off of them.

Moody reports that, “These new deals, along with the licenses from the many publishers who have opted in to last year’s deal with the NMPA / Harry Fox Agency, will allow us to monetize nearly all of the user generated videos with music on YouTube.” This is a win-win situation for the artists and publishers, who earn money and exposure off fan-produced user generated content, as well as for the video uploaders, who get to use their favorite songs in their YouTube videos without having the videos taken down or the audio muted.

However, as much as this is going to be great for users wanting to use copyrighted songs in their YouTube videos, I’ll be curious to see how it plays out for the few musicians and publishers who still haven’t struck deals with YouTube and for the users that use their music.  As it becomes “okay” for YouTubers to use copyrighted music in their videos are copyright violations going to become an even bigger issue for publishers and musicians that aren’t using Content ID to place ads on UGC that utilizes their music?  What do you think?

Image credit: Anna Paff via Shutterstock

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.