Music World Joins Together Against YouTube, Seeking Change to Law

Description:     A few years ago, the biggest enemy of the music industry was Pandora Media. Then Spotify became the target.  Now it is YouTube’s turn.


Date: May 31. 2016


In recent months, the music world has been united to a rare degree in a public fight against YouTube, accusing the service of paying too little in royalties and asking for changes to the law that allows the company to operate the way it does. The battle highlights the need to capture every dollar as listeners’ habits turn to streaming, as well as the industry’s complicated relationship with YouTube.

The dispute has played out in a drumbeat of industry reports, blog posts and opinion columns. Stars like Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Billy Joel have signed letters asking for changes to copyright laws. Irving Azoff, the manager of artists like the Eagles and Christina Aguilera, criticized YouTube in an interview and in a fiery speech around the Grammy Awards                read rest of story

1.  Do you think changes are needed in the in the copyright laws for the recording  industry?

2.  Do you feel these artists will will be successful in their strategy to capture every dollar from listeners of the digital product?  Why or Why not?


58 thoughts on “Music World Joins Together Against YouTube, Seeking Change to Law

  1. Cole Malaka

    1) Yes, I do. I am a firm believer that artists should receive fair pay for their work. Like the article said, the music industry is turning to streaming content. It won’t be long before CD’s and even digital downloads may become obsolete. With companies like Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify in the market it makes no sense to pay the $15 for a CD or even the $1.00 for a song download. You can get an Apple Music or Google Play subscription for $10-$15 a month, and have access to more music than you could listen to in a lifetime, including all the newest and most up to date music. The fact that legal music subscriptions are so cheap already poses an issue already. With companies like Youtube allowing illegal, free content to be accessed on their sites, this is a really big problem. I agree that in the end, it really is no different then piracy. While it’s not illegal, it has the same result. People who put their work into making this music are being stolen from. If this continues, the quality and quantity of music will decline quickly.

    2) I think that their needs to be a balance. No, I don’t think that artists will capture ever dollar from digital sales, nor should they. Consumers like myself subscribe to digital music providers because they offer a great service, affordable music of all kinds on a readily available platform. In the end, I actually think everyone would make more money by offering music at a modest price. More people can afford it that way, and more people will pay for it. Artists need to keep in mind that without these companies providing this service, they may find themselves up s**t creek without a paddle. They need to work together with the public to find a solution that works for everyone. Worrying about getting every last penny will only harm themselves in the end, artists need to remember who the music industry is for.

  2. Leigh Muirhead

    I feel like this issue has been ongoing and difficult because of the evolution of social media and Web-sourced entertainment networks. Instead of waiting for a new music video to be featured on the weekly MUCH Music countdown show, artists are keeping in touch with their fans on an hourly basis. Fans know exactly when they will be able to hear a new track. This is why I believe we as consumers have lost all sense of patience. We feel as tough we have as much ownership of the music as the artist who wrote the lyrics. YouTube has helped us to form this concept in our minds and forget that there is more to music than just the cute lead singer. For this reason, I do understand why people want to see a change in the copy write laws to get compensated for their output. But is that really going to increase YouTube’s monetary compensation to artists and support crew? It comes down to the people who use YouTube as a platform to share. YouTube won’t be able to fully control people buying a song off of iTunes and then uploading it since they purchased the rights to that song. I think the music industry needs to understand that consumers have more control now when it comes to music. I don’t think making some changes to copy write laws will change that. They have to adapt and find new avenues that are monetary compensating for them but at the same time intriguing and worthwhile to consumers.

  3. Raj Pannu

    Music producers have always had a constant battle with the internet by illegal ways of downloading music or listening to music that producers have made for free. Even though they have cracked down on sites like limewire and pirate bay there is still many other ways to illegal download music for free. Youtube has been a huge source for upcoming artists to get recognized by the public a fairly recent example is Justin Bieber he was an artist who created himself off of Youtube. Youtube has been attempting to crackdown on people posting artists music by letting viewers report a video and if it gets enough reports Youtube will look into at the video and take it down if it does have stolen music. Even though Youtube is changing their policy the people of the internet are also adapting to this change, some people will change the pitch of a song, speed the song up, slow the song down so they can bypass Youtubes copyright policies. I do think there needs to be many changes in the copyright laws for the recording industry. The problem is that even if the copyright policies are changed the internet will change with it and find ways around the new policies that have been placed. For example when limewire got shut down for illegally downloading music another torrent came out months after that let you download music once again.

  4. Katie Bergeson

    I do not think that copyright laws are needed in the recording industry. First of all, musicians already make a lot of money. (For example, Rihana has a net worth of 165 million.) How much money do artists need, when almost half of the world is living on less than $2.50 per day?? ( Even youtube stars make $280,000 per year, ( and superstarts make 14-17 million (yearly.) How much can not making every single cent they possibly can on youtube matter?
    It is such a capitalist idea that artists must take every single dollar from their fans. Youtube is providing a valuable service to artists, which is giving them visibility and accessibility. If artists don’t like that youtube “isn’t paying them enough”, they have the option to not use youtube to reach their listeners. I think they are getting paid more than enough in the service youtube provides. Without youtube artists wouldn’t have nearly enough market reach, and couldn’t advertise their music and generate other incomes (merchandise, concert tickets, itunes downloads, ect.)
    I doubt that artists will ever be successful in capturing every dollar from their listeners, especially in this digital age. There are so many ways to rip music off the internet, and every time they get rid of one way, another way is just going to be created. If artists want to combat pirating they should make their music less expensive and therefore more accessible. Personally, I would pay $3 or $5 for an album of a band that I like but not more.

  5. Sandy Derksen

    I believe there needs to be a change in copyright laws for the recording industry. I think this is necessary in order to provide artist’s with the amount of sales revenue that they deserve. The artist’s should have the right to receive payment for their work and according to the article, most artists do not believe they have been receiving that fair amount. The article also mentions that even vinyl record sales produce a higher income for artist’s, compared to YouTube. As vinyl records have become exceptionally less popular over the years, this is clearly an issue because with the amount of time people spend on the internet watching YouTube videos, it is unreasonable for artist’s to be making less from the subsequent company. I do not believe that artist’s will be successful in their efforts to capture every dollar from their work. Although they have the right to fight for as much profit as they can get for their products, it is most likely impossible to gain every dollar possible. The scope of the internet is the main cause of this as it is incredibly easy for people to gain access to music, movies, etc., illegally. I do not think there will ever be an opportunity for artist’s to remove this possibility. It is also not likely because, like the article mentions, overwriting the D.M.C.A. copyright laws will have an effect on other creators and designers rather than just music artists.

  6. Taylor Rice

    This is such a tricky issue! I can easily understand and sympathize with both sides of the argument. One the one hand, Youtube provides an invaluable service to the music industry, as was stated in the article. New musicians can be discovered and given a chance, while also providing a platform for fledgling artists to share their music with the masses and become stars. For Youtube’s part, they give back monetary royalties, no matter how small, for essentially allowing musical content to be posted to their site. Unfortunately, without Youtube, many stars would not have the success they currently enjoy. If a listener likes a particular artist they hear on Youtube, they are then likely to support that artist by buying their CD’s, going to their concerts, or purchasing other merchandize.
    However, on the other side of the argument, I can see why Youtube so such a vexing outlet. Though they receive some monetary compensation, it is nowhere near the amount that would be seen from direct record sales or pay-to-play online streaming services. However, I do not believe changing copy write laws will affect this problem a great deal. Individual submitters can post virtually any content they wish so long as the own certain rights, such as having bought the song for example. The industry cannot control the posting activity for millions of individuals, even if they all are posted through Youtube. I think a better alternative would be to renegotiate the royalties artists receive from Youtube. Then they receive more money while still reaching a wide and diverse audience. Otherwise, I feel that artists may lose out on other revenue simply because they will not receive the same level of exposure.

  7. Keshah Austin

    The laws of copyright within the music industry is not an area I know much about but what I do know is they are not keeping pace with the times. With social media, music apps, and personal sharing it is impossible to enforce copyright laws one hundred percent. That is a given but right now the attempts are seriously lacking in the capacity to follow through. People can share 20 songs online within a manner of a few minutes, how can they keep up with that pace? To track down one song that was not properly following copyright laws could take hours to track down and by then the royalties are a mute point. This is why artists are concerned about such things as YouTube and Spotify because they are not getting as many millions as they should. Before this modern age people still burned cds and cassettes, music artists earned less but complaints such as this never came about. The artists knew they were losing money but still produced with no concerns other than making music. In the article it states that Spotify alone paid over 1 billion dollars in royalties to artists. That is a no small number. Artists ate clainimg issues for copyright becauase of the monetaey gain for them and that is all. copyright laws are behind with the times and do need to be updated at the rate of technology.


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