For a long time now, musicians all over the world have been complaining that YouTube pays them peanuts for their music, and offers them very little control over their own music (how its used). Now the Global music industry has taken its fight against YouTube a bit further.
An open letter has been forwarded to the US Congress – signed by big names like Taylor Swift, U2, major music labels like Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music) – calling on lawmakers to rewrite legislation used by YouTube and other big web platforms that they say “threaten[s] the continued viability of songwriters and record artists to survive.”
Music is the most searched term on YouTube, and music has fueled the video site’s success, making it the top destination for music online (also helping its parent company Google).
Considering the mind-boggling number of users who have access to music, the music industry is basically saying that YouTube needs to pay the musicians fairly, especially the new artists who depend on their earnings to make new music.
Back in those days when people bought albums, musicians were fortunate to make a good living making music, with some even able to travel around the world performing. However, in the digital world things are more challenging for musicians.
YouTube, on its part, says that it generates billions of dollars every year for the music industry, and has sophisticated tools that allows music owners to control their works. However, the music industry doesn’t agree so.
Noted music artist manager Irving Azoff says, “If music matters to YouTube, then why not give musicians the same choice you give yourselves? Taylor Swift should be able to decide which of her songs are available for free, and which are part of a paid subscription service. Or she should be able to opt out of YouTube if you won’t give her this choice.”