Music companies are increasingly looking to the web as they seek to establish new business models, with YouTube and sites like MySpace often at the centre of their strategies.
YouTube's license to show music videos, films and user-generated content owned by GEMA elapsed on March 31, and the two sides have failed to reach a new deal over the amount it should pay to continue to display the content.
According to GEMA's ceo, Dr. Harald Heker, talks have "failed so far because YouTube is not willing to fulfil GEMA's requests for more transparency," about the use of licensed material on its website.
YouTube is said to have offered to pay €0.01 (1.3 cents) each time a licensed video was streamed, compared with the €0.12 requested by GEMA.
In March, a similar dispute started in the UK between Google and PRS For Music which resulted in music videos being removed from YouTube.
Data sourced from Billboard; additional content by WARC staff