YouTube deal ends years-long fight over music videos in Germany

A deal with a licensing group will let you watch videos that were previously blocked.

Sven Hoppe/AFP/Getty Images

German music fans haven't had it easy in the past 7 years. A royalty dispute with music rights group GEMA has forced YouTube to block thousands of music videos in the country, leaving locals no choice but to either find alternative video sources or (gasp) settle for audio alone. At last, though, they can relax: GEMA and YouTube have reached a deal that makes sure GEMA members get paid for video streams. The exact terms of the deal aren't public, but it'll cover both the usual ad-supported free viewing as well as the eventual European launch of YouTube Red subscriptions.

The two haven't completely buried the hatchet. GEMA says there are "different legal positions" on whether or not users are responsible for licensing any music content they upload. However, it's still a breakthrough. The pact should not only greenlight videos from German artists, but international stars (Bloomberg mentions Katy Perry and Psy). Effectively, Germany is syncing with YouTube's broader music community -- you won't miss out on a cultural phenomenon just because you live in Munich instead of Miami.