Negotiations broke down over licensing fees for Warner's music and videos, say people familiar with the discussions, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

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Warner Music Group’s videos began disappearing from YouTube over the weekend, the casualty of a contract impasse between the music company and the Internet’s major online video site.

Negotiations broke down over licensing fees for Warner’s music and videos, say people familiar with the discussions, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

YouTube alerted its audience of the collapse on its company blog, in which it noted that both professionally produced music videos, as well as those that fans create using Warner songs, would disappear.

It remains unclear whether YouTube or Warner decided to pull the plug.

“Sometimes,” YouTube told to users, “if we can’t reach acceptable business terms, we must part ways with successful partners.”

Warner Music, home to Madonna, rapper T.I., the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Linkin Park, said it would work to find a resolution with YouTube that would return its artists’ content to the site.

“Until then, we simply cannot accept terms that fail to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers for the value they provide,” Warner said.

The stalled talks suggest Warner is dissatisfied with the revenue it gets from YouTube.

Warner was the first of the major labels to strike a licensing deal with YouTube, in 2006.

As part of the original discussions, Warner, Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment received small stakes in YouTube as part of music-video licensing deals.