The WMG story – A tribute to YouTubers

In 2006 Warner Media Group became the first major media company to form a strategic relationship with YouTube. They launched a business model based on user-generated content. It looked really good.


The arrangement with YouTube required that royalties be paid based on the number of views that videos featuring music from WMG artists received. By December 2008, negotiations between WMG and YouTube broke down. YouTube clips containing WMG music were blocked completely and replaced with a message indicating copyright infringement. Fair use wasn’t even on the agenda.

This pissed off the YouTubers (and still does). Proving that when creating a business based on open content it is kind of important not to piss off your fans, your customers and your producers all at once.

So here is a nice YouTube historical tribute to the WMG Story!

Warner Music Group might be getting back with Youtube, but they need to get back with the users as well. See what YouTube users had to say to WMG. In the aftermath of the WMG story several important questions remain open:

What can we learn from the WMG saga?
Who owns what?
What is original?
Who gets paid?
Who gets to make the rules?
Who does the copyright law serve?

Be heard! Respond, rate and comment.

This invitation is also a tribute to users, who have spoken their minds (and continue to do so). The playlist of WMG related videos (those featured and several others) is available at:…

Animation: Creative Commons Australia –

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