Warner Music, IFPI say YouTube hinders fair licenses | TechWatch

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Rounding up recent tech news that impacts livelihoods in the creative community …

Warner Music Group renews "unfair" YouTube licenses
In a May 5 letter to staff, Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper said the label's renewed licensing deals with YouTube make the best of an unfair choice between accepting low monetization and the alternative, piracy. The fight for a fair deal "continues to be hindered by the leverage that 'safe harbor' laws provide YouTube and other user-uploaded services," wrote Cooper. On May 11 Google blogged that YouTube "has a market expansion effect, not a cannibalizing one," citing RBB Economics data from Britain, France, Germany and Italy. IFPI jumped in later that day, repeating its calls to fix the fair pay Value Gap, stating "services like YouTube, that are not licensing music on fair terms, hinder the development of a sustainably healthy digital music market."

Deezer, Spotify, more ask Europe for protection from internet platforms' abuses
As part of the lead-up to the European Commission's May 10 mid-term review of Europe's Digital Single Market efforts, the leaders of music services Deezer and Spotify joined other internet executives in expressing their concerns to EU leadership in a May 4 letter. Their point of view is that healthy business-to-business practices are being distorted by market dominance and winner-takes-all abuses on the part of powerful internet platforms. "The combination of the essential role online platforms play in the European economy and the material risk from harmful B2B practices necessitates a timely and targeted policy response," said the letter's authors, accusing internet "gateways" of having leveraged themselves into the role of "gatekeepers." The specific internet platforms referred to in the letter were not mentioned by name.

With election approaching, UK Music calls for music's "true value" to be protected
As Britain's post-Brexit elections approach on June 8, trade body UK Music released a "manifesto" defining its policy priorities on May 5. "Policies overcoming the value gap and securing the true value of music from digital platforms … would go a long way to securing the future," said UK Music chairman Andy Heath.

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