Over 180 artists have pledged support for immediate reforms to be made to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the United States. The list of artists boasts big names such as Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Pharrell, and they have received backing from a number of music bodies, including ASCAP, the RIAA, Kobalt, along with big name publishers and record labels.
The artists have attached their signatures to an open letter that was sent to congress, asking for drastic changes to push back against YouTube and other online platforms who are accused of exploiting artists. That letter highlights some of the flaws and weaknesses of the DMCA in its current state, pointing out that “the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is broken and no longer works for creators.”
Irving Azoff, Chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, is behind the creation of the petition and believes the unified front being formed by artists, songwriters, publishers, and other industry players, could be strong enough to make a difference. “The entire industry is united and committed to pursuing a fair resolution. We are fighting for the future,” said Azoff, as posted in an article found on musicbusinessworldwide.com.
YouTube, which is owned by Google, is protected from being prosecuted for cases of suspected copyright violations that may be taking place on the video-sharing website, which accounts for over 4 billion views daily.
The move comes amidst continuous calls for YouTube to play a more active role in protecting the interest of many artists, whose musical works are freely accessible on its site. For years, there have been issues raised by music creators regarding the passive approach by YouTube towards consumers who use music without the appropriate rights.
Since the call for reforms in the U.S., similar letters have been sent to the European Commission by the European Parliament and the International Artist Organization (IAO), seeking similar redresses. This, according to an article published on the website digitalmusicnews.com.
This latest thrust for change, by virtue of the powerhouse names and organizations backing it, could finally influence the global powers that force YouTube to be more responsible as it relates to content that is shared on its site. The wheels have started turning and only time will tell.