Debbie Harry: ‘Music matters. YouTube should pay musicians fairly’ – The Guardian

In 1998, the United States Congress passed a bill called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that, in part, was designed to protect artists from having pirated copies of their works distributed and monetised online. At the time of the bill, and for the first time in history, creative works could be easily copied and distributed throughout the internet without proper payment to the author of those works, and the DMCA sought to protect the creative people whose livelihoods depended on getting paid for their work.

But the DMCA has a loophole.

It is called a “safe harbour provision” and is applicable to “Information Location Tools”. The clause required that if an artist discovered their work on a platform protected by the safe harbour clause, they had to issue an individual take-down notice for every instance it was uploaded.

Yes, and this is extremely complex, and requires a lot of detective work. Google benefits from this, and something should be done. YouTube is a jungle of pirated music made semi-legal.

Source: Debbie Harry: ‘Music matters. YouTube should pay musicians fairly’ | Music | The Guardian

8 thoughts on “Debbie Harry: ‘Music matters. YouTube should pay musicians fairly’ – The Guardian

  1. I’m calling BS on this one. YouTube isn’t ripping off any artist or not paying them fairly. Plus, did anyone pushing this agenda ever search for Prince on YouTube before he died? There was nothing available. Prince managed to keep his music off YouTube. Hmmm.

    Back to payments.

    1. Artist signs contract with record label.
    2. Record label signs contract with YouTube.
    3. YouTube pays contractually agreed upon royalties to record label.

    Artists are barking up the wrong tree to attack YouTube for not paying enough. Artists signed away their rights as soon as they signed the record contract. They need to go after their record labels if YouTube royalties aren’t enough.

    In addition, YouTube’s fingerprinting technology is very good. Every time I upload a video with even a hint of music on it, I receive notice that it’s copyrighted music and may be taken down pending my appeal. It’s automatic. No artist or label needs to seek out uploaded content at YouTube. YouTube notifies them automatically.

    I love music and value creators of music. I believe they should be paid fairly for their works. However, I don’t support anyone going after the wrong entity. Artist who signed a record contract should look in the mirror first, then pursue the record label who isn’t paying them as much as they believe they should.

    • I agree that it’s the labels who agreed to the conditions. This said, why are there so many pirated videos (and music with stills uploaded as videos)? If the fingerprinting technology worked that well, then much of this stuff wouldn’t be there at all.

      By the way, I know a record label who tried very hard to get all their stuff off of YouTube, except for the music they want to share. The fingerprinting technology was supposed to guarantee that nothing would be uploaded illegally, but I just searched for the label’s name and found thousands of “videos.” And that’s just by searching for the label, not individual artists.

      • Hi Kirk – Many labels and artists secretly want their content on YouTube. If it’s not there, the music disappears from the collective conscious and money isn’t made at all.

        If you don’t think the fingerprint technology works well try two things.

        1. try uploading a video or audio yourself and see if it’s tagged as copyrighted content.
        2. Trying using Shazam to see if it recognizes the music as a proof of concept. Yes it’s different than YouTube’s tech, but not by much.

        With the exception of the most obscure music, both services will match the recording. Fingerprint tech works very well.

    • “I’m calling BS on this one. YouTube isn’t ripping off any artist or not paying them fairly”

      What??!! Are you insane? Poppycock.
      Prince happened to run a 24/7 paid team to stop tracks being uploaded – and still you can find everything he’s ever done including bootlegs.
      You’re not thinking this thru. What about artists starting out or who have managed to claw their way up to the first or second rung of the music ladder?
      Without listing the numerous recordings of just older music (let alone video, christ now there’s a real obscene amount of illegality) recordings uploaded, consider the fact that a day or so ago, an album I worked on was (and with clockwork predictability) uploaded on the day of sale.
      Happens every time. Google have zero interest in taking that down. Zero. Maybe I don’t pay them enough to. Maybe I’m not affiliated to one of the 4 major labels.
      So now you don’t to buy it.
      You can stream it for free.
      That is theft. And youtube/google are facilitating this crime.
      The laws around this are american, not international, and they suit american corporations, massive corporations.
      It’s not publicity, it’s theft, on a scale PirateBay could only dream of.
      BS? You’re full of bs….

      And what is this ‘lots of labels secretly want this’ crap? No shit, sherlock! At the cost of the independents…

      People are so ignorant.

      Reply rage over.

  2. I’m calling BS on this one. YouTube isn’t ripping off any artist or not paying them fairly. Plus, did anyone pushing this agenda ever search for Prince on YouTube before he died? There was nothing available. Prince managed to keep his music off YouTube. Hmmm.

    Back to payments.

    1. Artist signs contract with record label.
    2. Record label signs contract with YouTube.
    3. YouTube pays contractually agreed upon royalties to record label.

    Artists are barking up the wrong tree to attack YouTube for not paying enough. Artists signed away their rights as soon as they signed the record contract. They need to go after their record labels if YouTube royalties aren’t enough.

    In addition, YouTube’s fingerprinting technology is very good. Every time I upload a video with even a hint of music on it, I receive notice that it’s copyrighted music and may be taken down pending my appeal. It’s automatic. No artist or label needs to seek out uploaded content at YouTube. YouTube notifies them automatically.

    I love music and value creators of music. I believe they should be paid fairly for their works. However, I don’t support anyone going after the wrong entity. Artist who signed a record contract should look in the mirror first, then pursue the record label who isn’t paying them as much as they believe they should.

    • I agree that it’s the labels who agreed to the conditions. This said, why are there so many pirated videos (and music with stills uploaded as videos)? If the fingerprinting technology worked that well, then much of this stuff wouldn’t be there at all.

      By the way, I know a record label who tried very hard to get all their stuff off of YouTube, except for the music they want to share. The fingerprinting technology was supposed to guarantee that nothing would be uploaded illegally, but I just searched for the label’s name and found thousands of “videos.” And that’s just by searching for the label, not individual artists.

      • Hi Kirk – Many labels and artists secretly want their content on YouTube. If it’s not there, the music disappears from the collective conscious and money isn’t made at all.

        If you don’t think the fingerprint technology works well try two things.

        1. try uploading a video or audio yourself and see if it’s tagged as copyrighted content.
        2. Trying using Shazam to see if it recognizes the music as a proof of concept. Yes it’s different than YouTube’s tech, but not by much.

        With the exception of the most obscure music, both services will match the recording. Fingerprint tech works very well.

    • “I’m calling BS on this one. YouTube isn’t ripping off any artist or not paying them fairly”

      What??!! Are you insane? Poppycock.
      Prince happened to run a 24/7 paid team to stop tracks being uploaded – and still you can find everything he’s ever done including bootlegs.
      You’re not thinking this thru. What about artists starting out or who have managed to claw their way up to the first or second rung of the music ladder?
      Without listing the numerous recordings of just older music (let alone video, christ now there’s a real obscene amount of illegality) recordings uploaded, consider the fact that a day or so ago, an album I worked on was (and with clockwork predictability) uploaded on the day of sale.
      Happens every time. Google have zero interest in taking that down. Zero. Maybe I don’t pay them enough to. Maybe I’m not affiliated to one of the 4 major labels.
      So now you don’t to buy it.
      You can stream it for free.
      That is theft. And youtube/google are facilitating this crime.
      The laws around this are american, not international, and they suit american corporations, massive corporations.
      It’s not publicity, it’s theft, on a scale PirateBay could only dream of.
      BS? You’re full of bs….

      And what is this ‘lots of labels secretly want this’ crap? No shit, sherlock! At the cost of the independents…

      People are so ignorant.

      Reply rage over.

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