At this time, the negotiations are mainly fought between the Performing Rights Society (PRS) for Music,on one side, and YouTube on the other. As always, both parties blame each other for the current situation.
According to Patrick Walker, Director of Video Partnerships, Europe, Middle East and Africa, UK users will be unable to access all premium music videos until a new contract will be signed:
“Our previous licence from PRS for Music has expired, and we’ve been unable so far to come to an agreement to renew it on terms that are economically sustainable for us. […] PRS is now asking us to pay many, many times more for our licence than before. The costs are simply prohibitive for us – under PRS’s proposed terms we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback. In addition, PRS is unwilling to tell us what songs are included in the license they can provide so that we can identify those works on YouTube — that’s like asking a consumer to buy an unmarked CD without knowing what musicians are on it.”
It may be that the PRS is indeed asking to much from YouTube. Then again, it may also be that YouTube is looking to strong-arm UK organizations in order to play the game by their its rules.