It’s incredibly obnoxious to go to YouTube to watch a video only to find out that the audio has been muted because of copyright considerations. The big record labels are easy villains in this case, made out to be greedy corporate titans keeping the music from the masses. But according to Neil Young, not really.
Reported by the Wired magazine blog, Young says the problem is that Google failed to fairly compensate Warner for the use of its artists’ music on YouTube. Warner apparently signed an early deal with Google, one that didn’t adequately compensate artists and copyright holders. Young wrote on his website, "YouTube was in its fledgling stages when Warner made an early deal to work with them. Today, other labels have made more lucrative deals for their artists at YouTube."
If those are the circumstances, then it makes Warner’s dispute with Google (which owns Youtube) sound vaguely similar to the writer’s strike of last year. Although, Google spokesman Chris Dale wrote that Warner is more to blame than Google is:
"We have deals with all of the other major record labels and with musicians, songwriters, and other independent creative producers. It is the record labels’ responsibility to represent and pay their artists."
At any rate, there’s no indication that you will be able to watch your fan-made video for "Old Man" any time soon.