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Major Labels Finally Get This Internet Thing, Seem Bent On Making It Less Fun

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Some of our readers probably can't remember a time when MTV actually played music videos. And soon enough, some of us won't be able to remember a time when we could find them on YouTube, either. As more and more videos get pulled from the site, we were less than shocked to learn that the major labels are hard at work figuring out a way to make a little extra cash off internet views.

It seems the big four (Universal, EMI, Warner and Sony BMG) have now teamed up to take your money -- because they obviously don't have enough weight to throw around all by their lonely selves -- and they're in the process of working out a deal to build their own music video web site that would work like Hulu, according to The Financial Times. In fact, the plan proposes an actual partnership with Hulu, the creation of a premium service on YouTube or some sort of standalone site between some or all of the four label groups.

Last year, some labels began requiring YouTube to pay out a few tenths of a penny for each view of a video on the site, which Universal Music apparently makes "tens of millions of dollars" from. But Warner is singing a different tune, saying they are not making the kind of money they deserve. They demanded that YouTube take down Warner artists' videos, but they couldn't stop there. They wanted people to spit on them in the street, so they also made YouTube take down amateur videos that used songs Warner owned the rights to. This list includes "Happy Birthday To You." Seriously.

The Financial Times said two unnamed music companies were actually in discussions with Hulu, but that no announcement was expected any time soon. Of course, they also assured us that any deal for a new music site wouldn't replace the existing YouTube deal, and that they were interested in supplying videos for a new premium YouTube service. You mean they'd be willing to take advertising money from two sites at once? Well color us surprised. And sure, maybe that's not exactly your money they're taking. Technically, it's advertiser money, that advertisers make from companies, who make products that you buy. But who's counting? One question does remain -- where do the musicians fall in this pyramid scheme?

We thought it would only be appropriate to share our thoughts in video fashion.







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Major Labels Finally Get This Internet Thing, Seem Bent On Making It Less Fun