How do you define music piracy? Wikipedia says: “Music piracy is the copying and distributing of copies of a piece of music for which the composer, recording artist, or copyright-holding record company did not give consent.” YouTube is allowing anybody to upload any music and it’s allowing anybody to listen to it and download it. So YouTube is a piracy site and obviously it’s the world’s largest.
Kim Dotcom’s house was raided by a large SWAT team because of his MegaUpload piracy site. Why is YT not shut down and Google’s Eric Schmidt still roaming free? Probably they’re just too well-connected and too big to attack. But basically Youtube and MegaUplaod are doing the same thing: music piracy.
Via its Content-ID system YouTube knows quite well who are the rights owners of any uploaded piece of music. But they don’t care. All they want is consumer data. A couple of years ago they started to pay the rights owners but the payout is so ridiculously low (see my blog post about YouTube payouts) that it’s obviously just used to cover YT’s piracy activities.
My conclusion: YouTube is the world’s largest piracy site. They should be forced to either take down all unauthorized content or pay a decent fee for every view. They can achieve this by having people pay for unlimited access or else show them only teasers of 30 to 60 seconds.
A personal note:
My blog post about YouTube payouts (GOOGLE, DON’T BE EVIL TO MUSICIANS) has generated a lot of interest. It was published in digitalMusicNews and altpress.com.
There were loads of comments and here’s my short answer:
I was a professional musician and studio owner in the 80ies until the end of the 90ies. Then it became clear that this game had no future. I’m doing very fine financially ever since hiring out my brain functions (not my soul, as in music) by developing data bases.
But I can’t live without making music. I concentrate on playing live now. They can’t steal that from me. Still I want a fair pay for my recorded music and my videos. Isn’t that a completely normal attitude? And it’s supported by law. So law-enforcement people: please shut down YouTube or make them pay decently.