YouTube has struck a deal with the Performing Rights Society (PRS) to re-enable viewing of premium videos in the UK.
Under pressure from the music industry, YouTube attempted to remove copyrighted material from its UK servers six months ago, with limited success.
The PRS, which represents music creators and performers and makes sure they get paid whenever their music is played in clubs, pubs and shopping centres, has secured an undisclosed sum thought to be in the tens of millons of pounds to keep Paul McCartney in gold-plated lawn furniture until 2012.
The deal, which covers 'official music videos' rather than the shaky footage your sister took of Kings of Leon playing at Brixton Academy, has taken such a long time to nail down because of the complexity of YouTube, the international music industry and the fact that the PRS has 60,000 active members all holding out their hands for a slice of the online pie.
But the money won't all go for sable-lined Bentleys and indoor swimming pools to drive them into, apparently. The PRS reckons that 90 per cent of its membership - which includes composers, songwriters, musicians and other performers - earn less than £5,000 a year.
YouTube has always shown a willingness to compensate performers but, before this current round of negotiations took place, PRS lawyers were said to be seeking payments so out of line with the benefits to be obtained that the world's most popular web site had no choice but to pull the plug.
In fact, at one point the whole row got so nasty that technology minister Lord Carter was dragged into the ring in order to stop the handbags flying.
Google-owned YouTube has said that the tens of thousands of missing videos should reappear over the next few days.
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