2024-04-18 14:30:00
YouTube to pay royalties to filmmakers in France advertising/middlemen/Scrapbook

ars techica

YouTube will begin paying French artists when their works show up on the site, thanks to a new deal with three French royalty societies. The agreement only affects videos viewed in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, but it does cover clips and movies uploaded to YouTube from 2007 all the way through 2013.

Google’s new agreement affects screenwriters and filmmakers represented by Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD), Société Civile des Auteurs Multimedia, and the Société des auteurs dans les arts graphiques et plastiques, the company said during a press conference on Thursday (covered by the Wall Street Journal). The agreement follows a similar one made earlier this year between Google and France’s leading royalty society for musicians, SACEM.

Like other agreements made in other parts of Europe—as well as the US—the royalty societies will get a cut of YouTube’s ad revenues in exchange for permission to host the clips. Google didn’t disclose the terms of the deals, but it’s likely that the payments will vary depending on how many views each of the films gets from Internet users in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Whether the films will be viewable to users outside of those countries isn’t clear.

Making these agreements hasn’t always been easy for YouTube. The site had to block “premium” content in the UK in 2009 thanks to a disagreement over royalties. Warner Music made waves in 2008 for pulling all of its content in the US after licensing negotiations broke down. It’s a fine line to walk—content owners can definitely benefit from the exposure of their materials to a wider audience, but they want to make sure YouTube’s not getting a free ride either.

“This is a happy moment after nearly 10 years of misunderstanding,” said SACD director general Pascal Rogard. “It shows that there is a middle ground between protecting authors’ rights and making [content] available online.”

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