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YouTube and a billion questions

Recently we came across an interesting article on the latest battles in the music industry regarding the distribution of music. 

It's fair to say the musical industry has seen massive changes in the last 20 years in terms of distribution and income streams, from physical media, to iTunes and MP3s, and now streaming services, one of the largest of which is YouTube.

After years of arguments, YouTube has, in a blog post this week, finally revealed how much they're paying musicians per year, boasting it was now over 1 billion USD.

The industry and labels aren't thrilled with this amount though, given streaming providers like Spotify paid over almost 2 billion USD in the last year in licensing. YouTube pays the industry out of advertising revenue made, and believes it's model should exist alongside music licensing services which pay a fee to licence the music.

The recording industry believes that the safe harbor provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) give services such as YouTube an unfair advantage, as they are not held liable for copyright infringement posted on their site if they take it down once notified. They would like to see the DCMA amended so that services have to take a proactive approach in preventing the upload of copyrighted material, or otherwise risk penalties. They believe this would both increase revenue and put them in a better bargaining position when negotiating the revenue share.

This seems set to be a constantly evolving area for the next few years, indeed as it has been for the last two decades. Whilst at Creative Artists Law we admit a preference for vinyl, we also love our Apple CarPlay, so get in touch should you have any licensing issues.


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