Taylor Swift, Others Using Print Media to Call Out YouTube on Copyright


When it comes to copyright infringement, pop star Taylor Swift won’t “Shake It Off.” 

About 160 high-profile artists—like Swift, Paul McCartney and Carole King—and music labels are publicly calling for reform to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which regulates online copyrights, Billboard reported June 20. 

The musicians signed a petition that will run as an advertisement in D.C. magazines The Hill, Roll Call and Politico Tuesday through Thursday. 

Irving Azoff, a talent manager and founder of Global Music Rights, organized the petition, in which the music moguls argue that YouTube creates a “safe harbor” for copyright infringement. The video platform has “allowed 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,” according to the petition. 

Then-President Bill Clinton signed the DMCA in 1998, before YouTube or other music streaming sites existed. Celebrities and music officials have said technology companies are favored under the current law, which places a burden on creators to scour the internet for copyright infringements. 

This isn’t the first time musicians have taken a stand to reform the DMCA: More than 100 artists filed petitions April 1 to amend specific parts of the act. Regulators from the U.S. Copyright Office said they would study provisions that protect services like YouTube when users upload infringing material.

Music labels have recently struck deals with streaming services, including Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music, to share royalties with artists.