Late last week, Billboard reported on some details of a contract sent by YouTube to an independent label, but now rival site Digital Music News has published the entire contract in 32 screenshots. Cue outrage from its traditionally-feisty commenter community. The clauses that are causing most debate are the one where if any major label agrees rates lower than those agreed in the contract, Google will have the right to reduce the independent label’s rates accordingly; the stipulation that the label’s entire catalogue must be made available on YouTube’s premium AND free services. It’s not just online commenters taking note of this dispute though: a New York Times article yesterday claimed that EC competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia has said in a letter to colleagues that he is prepared to investigate new allegations of anticompetitive behaviour by Google – including “a potential complaint about the pressure Google is putting on independent music labels to extract better terms in its negotiations for a new streaming product on YouTube”.

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