180 artists have signed a petition to get proper payment from songs on Youtube

Vince Staples, Taylor Swift and Paul McCartney are just three of 180 artists to sign the petition. Photos / Getty Images, supplied
Vince Staples, Taylor Swift and Paul McCartney are just three of 180 artists to sign the petition. Photos / Getty Images, supplied

Some 180 musicians and songwriters have signed a petition in a fight against YouTube which has been raging for three months.

The petition will run this week as an ad in publications like Politico, The Hill and Roll Call as the artists call for a reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

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Some of music's biggest names from across all genres have signed, including the likes of Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Vince Staples, Cher, Gloria Estefan, Carol King, Bon Jovi, Slash, Pusha-T, and Jack White.

As well as the artists, 19 organisations and companies - including the major music labels - also signed.

The act gives services like YouTube a free pass from copyright infringement liability for the actions of their users, as long as they respond to take-down notices from rights holders when they come.

Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor has a few choice words for YouTube (below). Photo / Supplied
Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor has a few choice words for YouTube (below). Photo / Supplied

As a result, the musicians say tech companies profit and consumers get more music, but artists' earnings "continue to diminish".

"The existing laws threaten the continued viability of songwriters and recording artists to survive from the creation of music. Aspiring creators shouldn't have to decide between making music and making a living," the petition reads.

It goes on to say the law was written nearly two years ago, and as such calls for a "sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment".

In the same vein as the petition, Trent Reznor recently told Billboard YouTube was "built on the backs of free, stolen content".

And The Black Keys' Patrick Carney took to Twitter to say there were hundreds of songs on YouTube which artists were unpaid for.


YouTube has responded by pointing out it's paid out around $3 billion in royalties to artists, and added: "the voices of the artists are being heard, and we're working through details with the labels and independent music organisations who directly manage the deals with us."

Here is the full list of who's signed:

The full list of signees, taken from the ad which will run this week, featuring the petition.
The full list of signees, taken from the ad which will run this week, featuring the petition.

- NZ Herald

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