It's almost as if there's some sort of law in music publishing that requires everyone to act like a total idiot. The recent YouTube spat with the Performing Rights Society (PRS) has proved once and for all that those involved in music don't have the first clue what they're doing.
The PRS is the organisation that manages the licensing of venues, bars and clubs to play music in the UK. If you go somewhere and there's music playing, you can bet they're licensed to do so. And if they aren't, they're breaking the law. The PRS is a result of the music industry's deeply held belief that anyone playing music out loud, in public, is a scum-sucking pirate who wishes to sink the good ship music and all who float about in her.
The recent tantrum came about because the PRS wanted increased licence fees from YouTube for playing music videos. YouTube, on the other hand, thought that because the music industry was using its bandwidth to promote its tired, clichéd pop, it shouldn't pay any more money to the PRS.
I'm sure there are good arguments on both sides. But I support YouTube, because I can see the site is one of the best things to happen to music in a long time. YouTube makes the music industry a fistful of cash, because it offers people the chance to audition music for free before they buy it. I did this recently with The Prodigy's new album -- something I wouldn't have rushed to buy if I hadn't heard the first two tracks on YouTube.
If anything, the music industry should be paying YouTube to promote and host its music videos. If they're so strapped for cash, I suggest they tie up Duffy and charge people to pelt her with rotten fruit. They'd make a killing.