Neil Young, UK Songwriters Throw Down Over YouTube

UK songwriters and composers are striking back against the removal of music videos on YouTube. Robbie Williams songwriter Guy Chambers and Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus are among the artists who have launched the website

UK songwriters and composers are striking back against the removal of music videos on YouTube. Robbie Williams songwriter Guy Chambers and Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus are among the artists who have launched the website

A statement on their website reads: “Fair Play for Creators was established after Internet-giant, Google, made the decision to remove some music content from YouTube. Google’s decision was made because it didn’t want to pay the going rate for music, to the creators of that music, when it’s used on YouTube.

Music creators rely on receiving royalties whenever and wherever their work is used. Royalties are vital in nurturing creative music talent. They make sure music creators are rewarded for their creativity in the same way any other person would be in their work.

Fair Play for Creators believes that fans should have access to the music they love, and that the work of music creators should be paid for by the online businesses who benefit from its use.”

Here in the United States, music fans are facing the same problem. Google/YouTube spokesman Chris Dale has stated that it is the labels are responsible for negotiating deals to compensate their artists. “YouTube connects music, musicians, and fans,” he wrote. “We have deals with all of the other major record labels and with musicians, songwriters, and other independent creative producers. It is the record labels’ responsibility to represent and pay their artists.”

Dale was responding to comments made by Neil Young, who let his opinion be known earlier this month. Much of Young’s music, along with other Warner Bros. artists, was removed from YouTube after negotiations between the two companies failed. Young took the side of the labels.

“YouTube has a responsibility to respect the artists it facilitates and resist punishing them to make a business point,” wrote Young. “It is time for industry-wide standards of artist compensation on the web.”

Here’s Neil Young’s full blog post:

Warner Reprise records was one of the very first to embrace You Tube. You Tube was in its fledgling stages when Warner made an early deal to work with them. Today, other labels have made more lucrative deals for their artists at You Tube.

So You Tube is the new radio…..but not quite.
Radio used to introduce music to the masses and was crucial to every new release, with identical compensation for every artist and label. Since You Tube has given some labels better deals that others, the Media Giant is treating artists unequally, depending on which label they are on.
Today’s web world has created a new way. Artists today can go directly to the people. There is nothing standing between the artists and their audience. Freedom of expression reigns. People today feel that they should be able to get all the music and art that they want, from the artists who they appreciate. When that conduit is broken, the connection is weakened.
If all artists were compensated equally, and the people decided who had the hits and misses by virtue of number of downloads and plays, there could be no grounds for disagreement that would cause the facilitator of the art to break the conduit between an artist and an audience. That is what has happened to Warner Bros artists caught in You Tube’s web. You Tube has a responsibility to respect the artists it facilitates and resist punishing them to make a business point.
It is time for industry wide standards of artist’s compensation on the web.
Reprise and Warner Bros artists deserve what artists from other labels are getting. Let the people decide what constitutes success. Warner Bros and Reprise are looking for a level playing field. Until they get one, these problems may not go away. That is the essence of the issue between Warner Bros Reprise and You Tube.



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  1. As a songwriter, I hope a deal can be made for the both sides.

    All I know, is that it is important that songwriters get compensated for their art or what is the use of writing songs.

    No matter what product we buy or use, there is a price for using

    Air is the only thing we use that is free; however, you still pay a
    price for it if the air is polluted.

    By supporting the songwriters and artist, you are giving back to
    the community. The time to study music, buying instruments,
    recording studio time, creative time, packaging of your music, and many other expenses are some of the reasons why a musician
    should get paid.

    I am a believer in purchasing the product and really look unfavorably on people who steal other peopl’s products.

    Music of all sorts have been more than just a listening-to product
    that you like. Music can be medicine to the soul, bring back memories, expressomg feelings of love, or even anger; promoting sleep as in lullabys or nature sounds. Celebration of family fun, teaching children and adults rhythm and dance-and much more! Don’t forget the Spiritual music created and all the music that is made for video recording for products. It goes further. What about all of the music that is used for meditation, and body relaxing message. Somebody Created it! They should be compensated.

    It is an important that we all see music creations as a product.
    Not something that is air free only.

    On the other hand, perhaps Google could set up a fee (before music is played)for people who are downloading songs or set up
    an advertising site around the music played where the artist music can be purchased and google can get a cut on that too; or only allow so many down loads/per set-up fee..

    Thelma Harcum Category:Jazz,R&B, Dance

  2. Just like the writers and artists, who create PRODUCT (and that’s what it is, folks, when you introduce money into the equation) YouTube is in business. And if they make a business decision, it’s theirs to make. Simple as that. The Brothers Warner should just start their own damn streaming music site if they’re really so cheesed off. Then they can deal with paying Neil Young and Co. what they feel they deserve. I’d love to go to a site with content directly from the source. No more streaming music videos from someone’s 25 year old VHS tape recorded in EP. Sounds good to me.

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