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YouTube pens licensing deal with music publishers

YouTube this week announced new deals with music publishers that the Google-owned site said will provide them with more money-making opportunities, as well as increased copyright protection.

The deal, announced on the YouTube blog, will more thoroughly compensate producers and artists for the use of their music in user-generated work on the video-sharing site, YouTube said.

Publishers that have signed on include BMG Rights Management, Christian Copyright Solutions, ABKCO Music, Inc., Songs Music Publishing, Words & Music, Copyright Administration, Music Services, Reservoir Media Management, and Songs of Virtual. They represent artists like Adele, Cee Lo Green, Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones, and Sam Cooke, YouTube said.

The deal will result in "more of the great music you all love on YouTube, and more opportunities for artists to make money," Elizabeth Moody, head of YouTube Music's strategic partner development, wrote on the blog.

It also means that the next time you upload a video with your favorite song in the background, YouTube's Content ID system might not void the audio track, or remove the entire video from the site. The Content ID system, an audio and video matching tool, now gives content owners the option to leave the copyrighted material online, and even place money-making ads alongside it.

YouTube's recent contracts, in addition to a similar agreement last year with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and Harry Fox Agency, will allow the company to monetize almost all user-generated YouTube videos that feature music. When publishers allow YouTube to run ads with videos that incorporate their compositions, the publishers, songwriters, record labels, and other artists all make money, "so they can reinvest in their careers and keep making great music, and the music industry can thrive", Moody wrote.

Google has come under fire from content owners and industry groups for facilitating piracy via its search engine and YouTube. Google has been working to combat the problem, saying last year that it had made "considerable progress" on the matter, but not everyone is convinced. Recently, the search giant announced plans to publish the copyright takedown notices it receives from content owners on a daily basis. The Recording Industry Association of Ameria (RIAA), however, said that effort does not go far enough.