YouTube is in talks with at least three of the four top record companies about renewing the video service’s music licenses. According to the sources, negotiations with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music, appear to be going smoothly–and one of the labels, in fact, may have already wrapped up its deal. YouTube, acquired by Google in 2006, is one of the most popular music services on the Web. The relationship between Google and the record labels has at times been rocky. Nonetheless, the search company was able to overcome some tense negotiations and managed to launch Google Music, an online music store, with the cooperation of most major labels.
The European Commission (EC) adopted the Communication on e-commerce and other online services announced in the ‘Digital Agenda’ and ‘Single Market Act’ last Wednesday. According to the Communication, the EC wishes for a horizontal European framework for notice and action procedures, in view of the growing volume of statutory law and case law in the Member States. EC’s vision on the principal obstacles to develop e-commerce regarding illegal content, such as the existing fragmentation of notice & takedown systems and the conflicting jurisprudence in Member States. A staff working paper conducts an analysis of the factors hindering the development of e-commerce. To combat illegal content more effectively, the EC intends to adjust Directive 2000/31/EC regarding enforcement of intellectual property rights. The EC wishes to broaden the takedown by establishing a notice & action framework. For instance, the term ‘action’ is mentioned, which is broader than the current term ‘takedown’ of illegal content. Furthermore, this action includes, among others, ‘blocking’ of websites (footnote 137 of the staff working paper). This means the website is still online, but is not accessible for internet users. By adopting an initiative, such as this one, the EC hopes to establish a coherent framework for the Member States.