A coalition of music artists have signed a letter to Congress asking for change in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). They are specifically asking for a change in the ‘safe harbour’ loophole which prevents YouTube from being made liable for any copyright infringements that have taken place on its streaming platform.
The list of names, which have recently been joined by Irish mega-band U2 and Taylor Swift, now includes: – Lady Gaga, Sir Paul McCartney, Ryan Adams, Cher, Sir Elton John, Jack White, Fall Out Boy, Yoko Ono Lennon, Bette Midler, Queens Of the Stone Age, Pink, Maroon 5, Mark Ronson, Push-T, Sade, Gwen Stefani, Sting, Beck, Ne-Yo and Trent Razor.
In March of this year, a similar letter asking for a re-examination of the ‘safe harbour’ provision, was signed by more than 100 artists and managers. “Section 512 (the ‘safe harbour’ provision) of the DMCA has become the all-purpose shield that tech companies hide behind while they threaten the livelihood of music creators,” the letter read, on Bloomberg.
Irving Azoff, famed music manager, has spoken out concerning the most recent latest letter “If you (are) one of the big labels, and you continue to do business with YouTube the way you currently have, that’s a bad sign for all the people that signed that letter.” He goes on to say “I would be shocked, after supporting all these artists in a letter to Congress, (if) these big labels would turn around and make voluntary extensions to YouTube.”
With Taylor Swift joining the fight, maybe she’ll have the same effect as her campaign against Apple a year ago with her open letter to Apple on Tumblr.
Although, it could also be argued that Swift and the other artists who have signed the letter, have used YouTube to their gain. As an example, when Taylor Swift released her album “1989” last year, she refused to let Spotify play this on their free service, but allowed her videos to be available on YouTube for free.
Azoff claims this is not double standards and money doesn’t matter, “It’s not just about the money. It’s about control and what we leave behind in the future,” he goes on to say “This isn’t a free dispute. It’s far deeper. That’s why it’s really dangerous for anybody to hide behind the DMCA if they need a relationship with anybody in the music business.”
So if the world’s biggest and most popular artists think YouTube should be ashamed and change its policies, then maybe that’s what it should do this can do nothing but hurt YouTube’s brand if it continues.
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