If you’re a YouTube user in Germany, the notice stating “This video is not available in Germany because it possibly contains music for which GEMA hasn’t approved the rights” is probably something you’ve seen more times than you’ve cared to. New data released by OpenDataCity, an app created by a group Berlin journalists, shows that 61.5% of the top 1000 videos on YouTube are blocked in Germany, mainly due to an ongoing dispute between the popular video site and Germany’s music rights authority GEMA.
As YouTube has become a popular place to share and discover new music, German users are becoming more frustrated with these blocks. YouTube has offered GEMA a share of ad revenues for these videos, but GEMA isn’t satisfied with the arrangement and is instead looking for a €0.00375 royalty every time someones plays a video protected by the music authority. Instead of waiting for GEMA to issue a takedown notice, YouTube has decided to block any video that may be protected by the agency. Only 8.4% of the videos have been blocked due to an actual request by GEMA.
So how does Germany’s 61.5% compare to other countries? According to OpenDataCity, “almost 19% of the world’s top 1000 videos are blocked in one or more countries outside Germany.” Afghanistan, for example, only blocks 4.4% of the top 1000 and even the Vatican comes in with just 5.1%. You can take a closer look at the surprising data in the interactive app below.
If you currently live in Germany, we would love to hear your own experience with the blocked YouTube videos… is there an alternate and less restrictive site that you use to watch music videos? Let us know in the comments below.