Vince Staples, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift & Petition Against YouTube

The fight between musicians and services that provide music for free has been a long one. Last year, Taylor Swift penned an open letter to Apple Music, asking them to reconsider the three month period during which artists go unpaid while their music is being streamed. As a result, Apple Music changed their minds.

She now joins 180 artists including Paul McCartney, Vince Staples, Carole King, Kings Of Leon and more, along with 19 companies, in signing a petition that is set out to change the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The petition alleges that the Act gives YouTube too much power when copyrighted music is posted on their website and “has allowed major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish.”

They sign the petition to ensure that they are given power when it comes to the protection of their work by encouraging the creation of a “sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment.”

Trent Rezor recently had spoken out about YouTube and their ability to allow people to listen to music free of charge. He received this response from the platform:

“The overwhelming majority of labels and publishers have licensing agreements in place with YouTube to leave fan videos up on the platform and earn revenue from them. Today the revenue from fan uploaded content accounts for roughly 50 percent of the music industry’s YouTube revenue. Any assertion that this content is largely unlicensed is false. To date, we have paid out over $3 billion to the music industry–and that number is growing year on year.”

Last week, we wrote an investigative feature asking whether the music industry is abandoning the platform that gives them exposure and a place to upcoming artists share their voices with the world. This petition sheds more of a light on the other side of the debate, which is just as important.

Will anything change? We shall find out.

Image: Pitchfork