Warner Music Group (WMG) is the third-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry, making it one of the "big four" record companies. In following years, Warner Music Group has been caught in several controversies, the most infamous being the blocking of YouTube videos by WMG.
Controversies with YouTubeEdit
In December 2008, negotiations between WMG and YouTube broke down. As a result, Warner Music Group has continuously blocked or muted videos on YouTube which feature music recordings belonging to their labels or to their publishing arm, Warner/Chappell Music, citing copyright infringement. Although the majority of the blocked videos are not official content of WMG, they include WMG recordings in a minor way normally covered by Fair Use. Many of these claims to copyright violation not only affect artists who are under record labels owned or distributed by WMG, but also to artists who have songs published and controlled by Warner/Chappell, regardless of label. This makes the association between non-WMG artists and WMG much less apparent to YouTube users as music publishers, unlike record labels, generally do not brand themselves to their recordings. Muting also occurred to clips featuring people covering a song by a WMG artist or of a song controlled by Warner/Chappell. The response from YouTube users on affected videos has been overwhelmingly negative towards WMG. Notably, Seattle band Death Cab for Cutie was affected when music videos streamed on their website from their Atlantic Records albums Plans and Narrow Stairs were removed by WMG. The issue and opinion of WMG has since worsened when they began removing and muting songs that are covers rather than just recordings.
Many anti-Warner videos have been popping up on YouTube from users with outrage over videos being blocked by WMG. There has even been provisions by these disgruntled YouTube users to boycott any material owned by Warner Music Group.
On September 21, 2009, CNET reported that Warner Music Group had possibly struck a new deal with YouTube and WMG videos may start appearing back on YouTube within weeks. It was confirmed on Warner Music Group News and the YouTube Blog on September 29, 2009 that YouTube and Warner Music Group were in a multi-year deal with the two.
MTV Video game controversiesEdit
With the rise of music video games, CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. has complained that "The amount being paid to the music industry, even though [these] games are entirely dependent on the content we own and control, is far too small," and he concluded that "we will not license to those games." However, if they found new and better ways to promote music and new ways to make profit, this would not be a problem. A Wired magazine article claimed that Rock Band publisher MTV Games has boycotted WMG as a result, but both parties have claimed this to be untrue. WMG has not made any new content deals with MTV Games since August 2008. This had led to a backlash against WMG by fans of these games.