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Music videos returning to YouTube in Britain

Washington — Good news for music fans in Britain. Music videos are coming back to YouTube.

Google-owned YouTube and the Performing Rights Society for Music (PRS) said Thursday they have reached an agreement which would allow premium music videos to be shown again on YouTube in Britain, six months after they were pulled.

YouTube began blocking certain copyrighted music videos from major artists from being shown in Britain in March until the dispute with the music-licensing group could be resolved.

YouTube, in a blog post, said the agreement with PRS was "good for everyone involved, including the YouTube community, music fans, the record labels, YouTube, and the songwriters and composers the PRS for Music represents."

"In the coming days, premium music videos will begin to come back to our UK users," YouTube said. "We know it hasn’t been easy for our British users who love music, but today we’re pleased to say: ‘Let the music play on!’"

Details of the agreement were not disclosed but PRS for Music said in a statement that the deal will be backdated to January 2009, when YouTube’s previous licence expired.

"As a result of the agreement the songwriters, composers and music publisher members that PRS for Music represents will be rewarded when their music is used," it said.

PRS for Music acts as an agent for British songwriters, composers and music publishers by collecting royalties for performances of their works. It has some 60,000 members.

YouTube is involved in a similar dispute in Germany with GEMA, a body representing 60,000 German artists, which has yet to be resolved.

Google bought YouTube in 2006 for 1.65 billion dollars but the Mountain View, California-based Internet giant has not yet managed to turn a profit with the video-sharing site despite its massive global popularity.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that YouTube is considering streaming movies for rental, a move that would see it charging for content for the first time.