Withdrawal of music content on YouTube - Questions and answers

Why has content been withdrawn from YouTube?

Google has withdrawn music content from the Finnish YouTube. In the background to this happening are prolonged agreement negotiations between Teosto and Google. Even though an accord has been reached on temporarily continuing with the current agreement early in the morning of November 30, Google still went through with the withdrawal. According to a notification from Google, they will start returning content to YouTube on Thursday 30 November.

I am a customer of Teosto. Why does Teosto get to decide how my music is used on YouTube?

As Teosto’s customers, music authors and publishers have granted Teosto the right to make agreements concerning the terms, conditions and remuneration related to the use of their music. In Finland, about 31,000 music authors and publishers are customers of Teosto. Teosto protects their rights.

Why has foreign content also been removed?

In addition to Finnish music authors, Teosto represents over three million foreign music authors and publishers and negotiates over the rights to use their music in Finland.

I am not a customer of Teosto. Why has my music been removed from YouTube?

YouTube is Google’s service and Google has made the decision on the withdrawal, its scope and technical execution. Unfortunately, we do not know what the basis and scope of the withdrawal has been. Google has notified Teosto that they will start returning content to YouTube on Thursday 30 November.

On what grounds can Teosto decide on the pricing of all music content?

Teosto negotiates the royalties and their terms in Finland on behalf of the music authors and publishers that it represents. The royalties are defined in licensing negotiations, which means that Teosto alone cannot define or decide the prices.

Teosto has a valid price list for the use of AV content that is commercially funded and free of charge for the consumer. YouTube’s competitors in the music sector, such as Spotify, and in AV content, such as Ruutu and YLE Areena, pay according to these price lists.

Will the music content be returned to YouTube? When?

Google has stated that they will start returning content to YouTube on Thursday 30 November.

Why have the negotiations been prolonged? Is Teosto hard to negotiate with?

In the negotiations it has been our aim to reach terms and conditions as well as a level of compensation that would be acceptable to the music authors and publishers. It has been proven that YouTube is the largest and most used music service in Finland and has been growing at a strong pace for years. In 2015, 55% of consumers listened to music on YouTube. This year the number is 69%. In our opinion, this should be reflected in the compensation paid to music authors.

*Polaris Nordic study, August 2017

What is going to happen to the YouTube videos that I have made myself that contain music?

If the video has music from music authors or publishers that are customers of Teosto, the video cannot be watched on YouTube at the moment because of the withdrawal by Google.

I have used my own music in my videos and I am not a customer of Teosto. Why are my videos not available?

YouTube is Google’s service and Google has made the decision on the withdrawal, its scope and technical execution. Unfortunately, we do not know what the basis of the withdrawal has been. Google has notified Teosto that they will start returning content to YouTube on Thursday 30 November.

Is YouTube an illegal service now? Can it still be used?

YouTube is not an illegal service and can still be used.

Does Teosto wish to prevent the use of music services?

Teosto’s mission is to make sure that all friends of music have legal and easy access to music. As part of this mission, Teosto negotiates with the service providers on behalf of the music authors and rightholders over the terms and conditions of the use of their music as well as the amount of the remuneration.

How does this withdrawal affect YouTube royalty distributions? When will the next YouTube royalties be distributed?

The next YouTube royalties will be paid in the December 2017 distribution. Royalties for the use of music in the first half of 2017 will be paid then.

An accord has been reached on the continuation of the agreement with Google. The withdrawal should not affect the distribution of royalties.

Is it still possible to listen to the music of Teosto’s customers on YouTube outside of Finland?

Yes, it is.