By Hayden Wright
Over the last two years, Taylor Swift has become a vocal proponent of fair compensation for artists whose music appears on popular streaming platforms. She will now join U2 and other high-profile acts to lobby Congress with an open letter co-singed by Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music. They seek legislative changes that require streaming platforms to provide the music industry a larger cut of profits.
The letter urges reform to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, established in 1998 to govern use of media and other intellectual property online. Opponents of current laws say the legislation could go further to prevent misuse of protected material: for example, unauthorized uploads of copyrighted music to open platforms like YouTube.
As recording artists win victories to secure better payment from streaming services like Apple Music, YouTube remains a point of contention for musicians invested in the movement. Earlier this year, Nikki Sixx and other artists spoke out about YouTube’s profit margin delivery to artists—allegedly slimmer than those delivered by subscription streaming services. YouTube predominantly relies on its advertising model to generate revenue.