Musicians and music labels are leading a petition against YouTube that if passed through Congress would mean your favorite music disappears from the video streaming site.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is the main point of contention. For the uninformed, the DMCA is a law from 1998 that allows websites to host copyrighted content.
Under this act, websites only have to take down such content upon request by the rightsholders. The DMCA is seen as obsolete, especially in light of free streaming sites like YouTube.
Musicians and labels have called for the DMCA to be reformed. They also added YouTube monetizes their songs without fair payment to the artists.
Besides a petition to Congress, open letters will be published on political websites such as Politico and The Hill to raise awareness and rally fellow artists, who may also be victims of reduced earnings.
In its defense, YouTube pointed to the US$3 billion it has paid out to the music industry and disagreed that it was exploiting the DMCA and not giving artists due royalties.
The video streaming giant added that its Content ID system scans and deletes copyrighted material, saving labels the hassle of serving formal take-down notices.
Another argument taking place is the loss of income to music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, when free music can be found on YouTube. Spotify and Apple Music have yet to comment on the matter.
At this juncture, it isn’t clear whether or not the DMCA will be amended, But should more artists share similar sentiments, their collective voice may create a major change in the music industry.
Source: The Huffington Post