EMI bosses express concern over YouTube copyright

EMI bosses have said that they are still holding out from signing a deal with Google that would let its music videos be shown legally on YouTube.

According to The Times, Alain Levy, chief executive of EMI, has said that he feels there are copyright issues. EMI chairman Eric Nicoli is quoted in the paper saying that just because the other major record labels had signed up to showing their content on Google "doesn't make it right".

A spokesman for EMI told Brand Republic: "We are in discussions with YouTube but still feel there are copyright issues that need to be resolved. Our job is to protect the rights of our artists and songwriters."

Universal Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music Group bought small stakes in YouTube just before it was sold to Google in a $1.65bn deal last month.

At the same time, they entered agreements that will see music publishers being paid when copyrighted material belonging to their artists is played on the website.

Separately, Google has said that it is setting aside $206m of the total $1.65bn it is paying for YouTube for a legal fund, in case of lawsuits arising over copyright issues.

In a release to announce that it had closed the YouTube deal, Google said that 12.5% of the equity issued in the deal was being held in escrow for one year "to secure certain indemnification obligations".

YouTube tells users that if it finds copyrighted material on its website it will take it down and that copyright owners are also able to contact them about infringements.

However, there are still thousands of music videos available on the site, including ones from EMI artists such as Queen and Robbie Williams.

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