NEWS: YouTube blocks all music videos in Britain?

Just saw this on an Australian news site, but no doubt it’s already big news out there.

The story reads, in part:

YOUTUBE will block all music videos from being viewed by users in Britain after it was unable to reach a deal with a royalty collection group.

The world’s largest video sharing website said PRS for Music, a British collection society that collects royalties on behalf of nearly 50,000 composers, was asking it to pay “many, many times” more than the previous licensing agreement that expired.

“The costs are simply prohibitive for us – under PRS’s proposed terms, we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback,” the company said.

The move is the latest sign of the tension between YouTube and the music industry.
It also indicates that YouTube is resolving to keep operating costs under control as it strives to generate profits for owner Google.

YouTube said PRS was unclear about which songs would be included in the renewed license.

“We’ve been talking to them for a long time and we’re still talking to them,” said Patrick Walker, YouTube director of video partnerships for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the story.

So what does it all mean? Is it a contract negotiation ploy? Will this be applied across the entire music category? Will it affect unsigned bands? Both parties, YouTube and PRS for Music, stand to lose a lot if they can’t reach an agreement. What are your thoughts on this one?

Personally I’m kinda amazed that YouTube hasn’t officially aligned with a retailer, or even set up their own, to link to high-quality paid downloads of an artist’s discography and videos. Kinda seems like a logical step, no?

NEWS: Paul Reed Smith gives you free pickups. Kinda.

This was included in the Paul Reed Smith March newsletter:

Introducing the PRS Tech Center PLUS Free Pickups Offer!

That’s right! Any current PRS pickup pair of your choice including the coveted 1957/2008!

In response to numerous customer requests, PRS is pleased to officially launch the PRS Tech Center (PTC) to provide factory repair, set-up, electronics upgrades, refinishing, touch-ups and other services to the PRS family of players.

As a way of introducing PRS customers to our new PRS Tech Center (PTC), we’re offering a great opportunity to buy a (made-in-USA) PRS guitar and receive (2) PRS pickups of your choice, factory installed with set-up at our new PRS Tech Center!

We’ll GIVE you the pickups for your new PRS guitar or even UPGRADE your current PRS guitar! AND, we’ll do a basic set-up absolutely FREE.**

Here’s how it works:

Buy a new PRS guitar anytime between March 1, 2009 until August 31, 2009 from an authorized PRS dealer and receive a FREE pickup set installed for FREE including a factory set-up at our new PRS Tech Center (PTC) in Stevensville, MD!

You can UPGRADE either your EXISTING PRS guitar or the newly purchased PRS guitar to the pickups of your choice as long as you purchase a new PRS guitar during the program period.

When you purchase your new PRS, send the original authorized dealer receipt and completed PRS Guitars PTC SALES PROMOTION REDEMPTION COUPON (available from your authorized PRS Dealer) to the address on the coupon.

PRS will register your purchase and place your reservation at the PRS Tech Center. You can schedule your guitar for upgrade and set-up anytime for up to one calendar year from the date of purchase. Scheduling will be subject to PTC availability. The PRS Tech Center will contact you to provide shipping instructions and projected completion date.

Shipping to PTC is paid by customer with return shipping paid by PRS Guitars.
Any PRS pickup set currently available including the 1957/2008 humbuckers can be specified by the customer!

PRS set-up includes fret dress, truss rod adjustment, new strings, and intonation adjustment. Other adjustments or repairs can be done on a fee basis while we have your guitar at the PTC.

This promotion applies only to guitars purchased by U.S. domiciled end-users from continental U.S. authorized PRS dealers.

**Subject to compatibility with your PRS guitar’s existing switching and/or electronics system. Special requests will be considered on a charge basis.

CLICK HERE to see Paul Reed Smith guitars on eBay.

This is a pretty cool idea. As an Ibanez geek I’d love to see Ibanez do something similar (with Dimarzio pickups), although that’s probably not very likely from a logistical point of view. This is a great way of helping users to customize their guitars in an ‘official, PRS-approved’ way, and it’s gotta be good PR too.

NEWS: Nick Catanese leaves Washburn for PRS

Well looky looky. Black Label Society’s Nick Catanese has left Washburn, who made his signature model, and has moved on to Paul Reed Smith. Here’s what PRS had to say about it.

PRS Guitars is proud to welcome Black Label Society Guitarist Nick “Evil Twin” Catanese as the newest member of the PRS artist family. Years ago Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society frontman Zakk Wylde dubbed Catanese “Evil Twin” in honor of his epic musical chops that kept the pace with Wylde’s intense live and studio performances. Nick has been with Zakk for the last 13 years and has not only toured the world over numerous times, but has contributed to two live DVD releases, nine studio releases and has hailed the stage for too many Ozzfests to count. Nick has also formed a band with Mike Stone from Queensrÿche (guitar and vocals) Josh Sattler (bass) of DoubleDrive and drummer Mike Froedge of Doubledrive. Their debut album will be released sometime by mid 2009 under the band name Speed X. PRS is thrilled to have Nick join the team and is looking forward to making guitars he can shred to his heart’s content.

CLICK HERE to look for the Washburn Nick Catanese model on eBay, since I guess they’ve gotta stop making it now!