The European Commission has proposed changes to copyright laws that would require video sites like YouTube to pay more to musicians and music labels, reports the BBC. It follows a plea by more than 1000 artists – among them Lady Gaga and Coldplay.

The draft directive will also require publishers and producers to tell performers or authors what profits their works have generated. The music industry has long criticised YouTube for failing to pay enough for content such as music … 


The move is supported by UK Music, the organization representing the British music industry. The body specifically singled-out YouTube, stating that it was ‘yet to deliver fair financial returns for rights owners and creators, artists, composers, songwriters and publishers.’

Earlier this year, noted music artist manager Irving Azoff wrote an open letter to YouTube in which he accused the video service of paying artists ‘a pittance’ and failing to care about music

However, one of the proposals, which would force websites to automatically detect and take down video clips containing elements of copyrighted works, has been criticized by consumer groups – including the European Consumer Organisation, BEUC.

This would punish millions of consumers who share a self-made remix of a song, family videos or holiday pictures which contain parts of a music tune or video clip.

The Commission also calls for websites like Google News to pay for news extracts appearing in search results. The last time this topic was raised, things did not end well: when Spain passed a law forcing Google to pay, the company responded by closing the service in the country. That resulted in so much lost traffic to news websites that they then asked the government to try to force Google to return

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