Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor made waves last week when he criticized YouTube, calling the service’s business “very disingenuous.” Now he’s receiving backup from high-profile artists and industry names in the fight against the service he says was “built on the backs of free, stolen content.”
An open letter to Congress planned to appear in publications like Politico and The Hill on Tuesday calls for reforms to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — and features co-signs from Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, U2, and more. And, as a Billboard report notes, three of the major record labels — Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music — have added their support to the suggested reforms to the DMCA, which was enacted in 1998.
The debate revolves around whether YouTube properly compensates artists when their music is used in the site’s videos. The letter accuses the DMCA of allowing “major tech companies to grow and 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.”
In 2015, YouTube launched YouTube Red, a paid subscription service that unlocked ad-free streaming on its YouTube Music app.