(photo credit: .)
ACUM, a nonprofit corporation administering the rights of musicians and other
artists, signed an agreement on Wednesday with the video-sharing website
YouTube, under which musicians whose music videos are viewed in Israel will be
paid royalties, to be a percentage of the revenue YouTube gets from ads run
alongside the videos.
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According to a TIM survey from November, three
million Israelis visit YouTube every week. Google Israel figures indicate that
60 percent of YouTube users watch music videos on the website. Under this
agreement, if an Israeli views a music video by an Israeli or foreign artist,
that artist will now be paid royalties.
According to Yorik Ben- David,
ACUM’s director general, YouTube has a system that enables them to identify the
works and produce reports that will aid in accurate royalty
“Prior to signing the agreement with us, YouTube had no
income-generating system in place. Now that we signed the agreement,
YouTube can run [advertisements] and for the first time generate income from
displaying the material on its website,” said Ben-David.
YouTube, nor I can estimate the earnings they stand to gain and therefore can’t
tell you how much the artists stand to earn as a percentage of YouTube’s
Ben-David said he was contractually forbidden from
revealing the percentage of income to be paid as royalties.
stressed that ACUM represents all the authors, composers, lyricists, musicians,
poets, editors and music publishers, both Israeli and foreign, whose works are
presented to the public in Israel, thus the agreement covers all copyrighted
material by both Israeli and foreign artists.
“The distribution of
royalties depends on YouTube’s technology, but we will oversee the process so
that no one is left out,” said Ben-David.
According to Ben-David, Israel
is one of the first countries to sign such an agreement, which is part of a
worldwide effort by YouTube to prevent copyright violations on its
“I would recommend to anyone who wants to produce original music
or videos to register with ACUM and upload their material to YouTube,” said
“YouTube is at the height of a process of signing royalty
agreements,” said Meir Brand, CEO of Google Israel. “In 2009 and 2010 alone,
YouTube signed music royalty agreements in several countries, including with PRS
in Britain, with Buma Sterma in Holland, with SGAE in Spain and with SACEM in
“We are glad to have signed an agreement with ACUM that will
assist Israeli artists in receiving payment for their original works played on
YouTube and encourage the growth of new musical talents.”