The next time you dare to use your favorite’s artist music in your youtube videos, be ready to be served a notice or being stripped off all earnings or video being taken down without any reasonable explanation. Taylor Swift, of all people, is leading the music industry’s campaign which has over 180 signatories including U2, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, The Chainsmokers, Pharell, Linkin Park, Kings of Leon, Vince Staples, Cee Lo Green, Katy Perry etc., against Google’s product YouTube for not compensating the artists and the songwriters enough for their copyrighted content.
Here is the crux of the problem – “Musicians and companies that own music are complaining that video’s site doesn’t give them enough money for the use of their music and that youtube doesn’t give them the real choice about whether and how their music is used.” In an open letter to US Congress, the music industry said: “This threatens the continued viability of songwriters and record artists to survive.”
But if you dig deeper, it appears that the music industry’s greed is endless. According to Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 1998 the big internet companies can use the material uploaded by their users. The youtube already has a built-in system and safeguards in place, there is something called ContentID which checks every second of every video uploaded on the site against a massive database of owned content to ensure that the video doesn’t have someone’s owned property in it. In fact, YouTube has already sent $3 Billion in royalties to the music industry this year, over 50% of these earnings are generated from fan-made videos like tributes, mash-ups, video memes etc. At present, the system is already in favor of the artists, for instance, if you have created a 3-minute video using 3 seconds of Taylor Swift’s music, the entire profits of that video go to her record label or other concerned entities.
The music celebrities are essentially going after their fans who made them famous in the first place. Apparently, US $3 Billion are not enough for the music industry.