Taylor Swift took social media giant YouTube to task by affixing her signature to an open letter to the US Congress where she and 179 other recording artists asked “for sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment”, according to a report on CNN.
“We ask you to enact sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment. It’s only then that consumers will truly benefit,” according to the letter which Swift, U2, Kings of Leon and Paul McCartney, among others, have signed.
In a petition to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (D.M.C.A.), the artists wrote that the current online copyright law has allowed YouTube and other sites to “generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish”, according to the report.
The letter is being published in The Hill and Politico this week, the report said.
YouTube’s parent company, Google, declined to comment Tuesday, June 21 (Wednesday, June 22 in Manila) but in a statement in April said, “Any claim that the DMCA safe harbors are responsible for a ‘value gap’ for music on YouTube is simply false.”
This isn’t the first time that Swift has taken on music streaming services, the CNN report said.
In 2014, Swift pulled all of her music from Spotify and put it on Apple Music. In 2015, she wrote an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, in which she took Apple to task for not paying artists during a three-month free trial of Apple Music. Hours after the letter was published in The New York Times, Apple responded by saying it would pay artists. Since then she has gone on to star in several of Apple Music’s ads, the report said.
YouTube, who has over one billion users in 88 countries, said in a statement that the “voices of the artists are being heard” and that they are working through “details.” They also claim they’ve paid over $3 billion to the music industry.