Finally, YouTube to pay more royalties to musicians

Planned reforms get YouTube artists earning more!

But could this mean the end to uploading YouTube cover videos?

A report has recently been issued saying that artists are not earning the amount they should be from their YouTube music videos.

UK Music campaign group report:

The UK Music report states that video websites, such as YouTube, which gain revenue from using adverts “effectively devalue our music behind protectionist and outdated legislation”. This has resulted in plans to change European copyright laws. As a result, the plans force YouTube and other video websites to pay more money for music to the artists and labels.

Letter to the European leaders

It was in June 2016 that over 1000 artists came together to sign a letter. Among these artists included the likes of ABBA, Coldplay and Paul Weller. The letter set out to ask European leaders to review why websites are “unfairly siphoning value away from the music community.” Part of the letter read “This situation is not just harming today’s recording artists and songwriters. It threatens the survival of the next generation of creators too, and the viability and the diversity of their work.”

Key details

The reform proposal puts requirements in place for sites like YouTube and Facebook to use technology to trace copyright infringement. It is this aspect of the proposed legislation that may have a damaging effect on those wanting to build a fanbase by uploading cover videos to YouTube, because you could find your videos being taken down automatically by this software, as currently happens in SoundCloud.   We once had a frustrating situation with SoundCloud after we released an artist’s single on iTunes.  When we tried to upload it to SoundCloud, it recognised it and instantly took it down until we contacted SoundCloud and proved that we owned it.

That said, it is vital that artists and songwriters get what they deserve from all streaming sites.  It’s not acceptable that they only people who truly benefit are those that run the site when it’s the content that makes the users come to the site.  Music isn’t free to make and we are talking about a lot of people’s living behind the music, not just the high earning artists.

Other changes will ensure artists and record companies gain higher revenue from the video websites they use to promote their work. The biggest of these of course being YouTube. The reform would also mean that publishers and producers will be required to be open and just regarding profits made from the work of an artist.

Juncker speech

The planned reforms were announced during Jean-Claude Juncker (European Commission President)’s State of the Union speech. Juncker stated “I want journalists, publishers and authors to be paid fairly for their work, whether it is made in studios or living rooms, whether it is disseminated offline or online, whether it is published via a copying machine or commercially hyperlinked on the web.”

Final thoughts

The planned reforms are to go to the EU member states and European Parliament for approval. This would clearly be a victory for musicians and definitely an improvement on current laws. Watch this space for more updates as the story on reforms and revenues progresses.