The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


YouTube Faces Payouts In Copyright Vote
Christian Eede , June 20th, 2018 14:16

European parliament action could see YouTube paying out millions to artists whose music videos are viewed on the platform

Musicians could be in line for sizeable payouts from YouTube after the video streaming service lost a vote in Brussels over new copyright laws.

As The Guardian reports, the new laws will force YouTube to pay out billions of dollars for users watching music videos via the service, and comes after years of criticism that the company was exploiting laws in order to pay minimal amounts to artists and record labels when music videos were streamed on the website.

Today, a vote by the European parliament's legal affairs committee sided with the music industry agreeing to enact copyright laws that will force services such as YouTube to seek licences for music videos that are viewed on the website.

"The importance of today's vote cannot be overstated; this proposal is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new balance in the online world," Helen Smith, the executive chair of the European music body, told The Guardian.

YouTube paid £650m in royalties to music companies last year while it has an estimated user base of 1.3 billion - this is in contrast to the £4.2b in royalties generated by Spotify's 272 million ad-subscribed users.

It's expected that the members of the European parliament opposed to the copyright laws will lodge an appeal against the decision before a final vote takes place in July.