YouTube blocked music in Finland after licensing deal breaks down

YouTube is one of the top places to go for music online, but for Finnish users lots of music was blocked thanks to a licensing mishap.

YouTube and music have a sometimes rocky relationship and after a licensing deal failed in Finland that relationship got more tense. According to YouTube they were unable to reach a licensing deal with performance rights organisation TEOSTO.

This licensing failure resulted in a massive loss of content for Finland which found many videos with music unavailable. When trying to access music many Finnish users found the message: “Video content owned by TEOSTO. The video can not be used in your country.”

Teosto represents roughly 30,000 songwriters and publishers within Finland. Doesn’t sound too bad? They also manage 3 million musical bodies and groups from outside Finland for use inside their country, that’s a massive chunk of content on YouTube.

After quickly trying to rectify the issues with “talks proceeding on good terms” YouTube have managed to come to an agreement with TEOSTO. Sami Valkonen, director of international music publishing partnerships at YouTube, said: “TEOSTO content is back up on YouTube in Finland. Some music content was not available on YouTube in Finland for less than 24 hours as we worked towards a solution with TEOSTO after our license expired. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this time.”

You have to ask the question, why did the licensing agreement not go through the first time? Were TEOSTO fighting for higher royalties on YouTube’s abysmally poor payout for music? Maybe, but for now they have sorted things out. It’s likely not the last we’ll hear of a conflict between YouTube and performing rights societies.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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