It’s estimated digital piracy has drained billions of dollars from the music industry since the transition from CDs to digital music files caused piracy to become an even bigger issue affecting the industry. As new forms of listening to music like streaming appeared and continued to grow, artists dependent on the streaming model are becoming increasingly vocal about their problems with the new current business model and their fight against piracy. They’ve taken the fight to Capitol Hill and are advocating a change in the copyright law to adapt to the music industry today.


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Their main complaint is the tool available to them to take down pirated content is ineffective and the internet is too vast for them to police. What ends up happening is pirated content gets re-posted on different websites that ends up available for viewership. Artists like Katy Perry, Billy Joel and Steven Tyler are some in the artist community pushing for reform in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

One of the biggest perpetrators artists point to is YouTube. Google’s YouTube is extremely important to the music industry given its reach and accessibility to the majority of music consumers. Music labels have a working relationship with the website, but one of their biggest complaints is the piracy and what they feel is a lack of effort on Google’s part to properly handle pirated content. On this issue, Google submitted a letter to the U.S. Copyright Office defending their actions. They claim they are being vigilant in addressing the take down notices and their innovations have helped generate billions for the music industry. They also claim their content identification technology helps generate money for the labels and the artists because it identifies artists’ pirated content and generates money to them and the label. The issue continues to be fought over in the public and in the halls of Congress.

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