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Musicians are taking their fight against YouTube to Congress

Taylor Swift; Bono (Photos: Larry Busacca/Getty Images; Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Last week, The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney became the latest musician to speak out about YouTube’s purportedly freewheeling use of unlicensed content, following in the footsteps of Trent Reznor and Thom Yorke. Carney went on a Twitter tear about music streaming services, even those without a free tier, which is how he ended up taking a jab at Reznor, who is Apple Music’s Chief Creative Officer.

Now Pitchfork reports that dozens more musicians and other heavies are joining the fight against unlicensed content and unfair compensation, including Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, U2, Kings Of Leon, Carole King, as well as Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music. These giants of the music industry have marshaled their forces to sign what is presumably a strongly-worded open letter pushing for reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. t


The 180 musicians who will sign this petition, which is running in ads in Politico and The Hill tomorrow, are imploring Congress to “[curtail] the practices of YouTube,” which the DMCA currently grants “safe harbor from copyright infringement lawsuits, as long as it complies with takedown notices.” The open letter is calling for “sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment,” which all sounds perfectly reasonable—that is, until someone starts comparing music streams to avocados again.

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