YouTube, like every content licensee, lives or dies on its ability to let negotiations fail. If it can’t pull out of a negotiation without obtaining rights, it can’t get sensible royalty rates.
So in letting negotations with Warner get to the point where Warner pulled out, it did the right thing.
But there’s a bit of a doozywhatzit snafu here, what say. This negotiation issue means that no content site will ever be comprehensive. That means the only possibility for a comprehensive archive is to aggregate sites. But the rights holders are trying to fight to the death over linking sites — aggregators — like Playlist.com and Mixwit.
So how do you get a single unified web out of all this? Without aggregators we go back to the online world of Compuserv and AOL, the one before the world-wide-web.