YouTube Nears Licensing Deal With Major Record Labels

YouTube is nearing deals with at least three of the “big four” record companies about renewing the video service’s music licenses.

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Acquired by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) in 2006, YouTube is one of the most popular music services on the Internet. Not only can visitors watch music videos at no charge, but YouTube has acquired numerous music licenses that allow video makers to insert music into clips they post on the site.

Sources close to the discussions told CNET that Universal Music Group (NYSE:VIV), Sony Music Entertainment (NYSE:SNE), and EMI Music, which came to be wholly owned by Citigroup (NYSE:C) in February 2011, are all in talks with YouTube, and that one may have already wrapped up its deal.

YouTube has supposedly agreed to increase licensing fees, and though it is unclear whether labels are seeking greater security from YouTube, at least one of the labels is said to have secured a promise from YouTube to do more to keep people from pirating songs from the site.

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