In a move that will affect millions of videos, Warner Music is demanding that YouTube pull down all videos that contain its music.
Warner originally made its catalog available to YouTube in September 2006, right before Google purchased the video site and while Universal Music was suing for copyright infringement.
However, Warner claims revenues generated to date are negligible and after months of trying to reach a new licensing deal, it is walking away from negotiations. YouTube began pulling videos Friday night, and wrote in its blog, “Sometimes, if we can’t reach acceptable business terms, we must part ways with successful partners.”
Warner artists include Madonna, Green Day and Frank Sinatra among hundreds. Their publishing group owns the rights to such classics as Happy Birthday to You.