Musicians make stand against ‘greedy’ tech giants

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UK artists and musicians are joining forces to take on the ‘greedy’ tech giants that are trying to block European Union (EU) plans to give creators a fairer deal.

Ahead of a crucial vote in Brussels on Copyright Directive next week, musicians, MPs and music industry leaders are gathering in London to urge Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to back a crucial copyright change.

The event, which takes place today (Thursday) and is organised by the trade body UK Music, includes artists busking to highlight how even the spare change from passers-by brings in more cash than tens of thousands of streams on YouTube.

It will gather creators and industry leaders opposite Google’s Kings Cross base in London, opposite from PRS for Music‘s headquarters. Those already gathered include Newton Faulkner and BASCA’s Crispin Hunt.

At present, some global tech firms, like the Google-owned video platform YouTube, pay just a tiny amount of their multi-billion-pound profits to the creators of the music streamed online by millions of music lovers.

A total of 85 percent of of YouTube’s visitors come to the site for music and YouTube accounts for 84 percent of video streaming services. At least £2.33bn of YouTube’s revenue in 2017 was generated by music in 2017, according to MIDiA Research.

UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher said: ‘Greedy YouTube have made billions of pounds from sharing music content made by other people. They are bulldozing the interest of creators who continue to get ripped off.

‘It’s time to save music online and get platforms like YouTube to stop dodging their responsibilities.

‘The music industry is a vibrant ecosystem. Yet some tech firms are just bulldozing their way through the heart of what we do in search of an even fatter profit, regardless of the impact that has on future talent and the ability of people in the music industry to earn a living.

‘The whole music industry is united on this crucial issue and is determined to bring about these changes and safeguard our industry for the future.’

Last month, the British music industry launched the #LoveMusic campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the issue ahead of the vote in Europe on 12 September.

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