Many Van Halen fans have noticed within the last month that their favorite Youtube videos promoting the band have been removed from Youtube. The decision to remove them was not made by Van Halen, but by Time Warner, as negotiations between the company and Youtube broke down.
It would appear the issue stems from a conflict between Warner Brothers (VH’s former record company) and Youtube with regard to compensation of Warner Brothers artists. Negotiations between the two parties have broken down, leading to the muting or outright removal of videos representing Warner Brothers acts.
An angry Neil Young lashed out at the situation, mentioning on his blog, “YouTube was in its fledgling stages when Warner made an early deal to work with them. Today, other labels have made more lucrative deals for their artists at YouTube.” This statement was countered by YouTube spokesman Chris Dale, who responded “We have deals with all of the other major record labels and with musicians, songwriters, and other independent creative producers. It is the record labels’ responsibility to represent and pay their artists.”
Yet there indeed may be more to this story that meets the eye. An article surfaced this month announcing that Adobe Systems, makers of Flash and video tools for the internet, has entered into a partnership with Time Warner. The agreement essentially provides the services by Adobe for three of Warner’s properties including Warner Bros. Entertainment, Turner Broadcasting System, and Home Box office.
As such, the removal of videos from Youtube may not have been ordered by Warner Brothers over the issue of artist’s rights, yet merely as a preemptive measure in securing the material for it’s own use. Stay tuned.