While YouTube users continue to angrily speak out against Warner Music Group, who pulled the audio from their artists' songs off all videos on the site due to a royalty dispute, one rocker is coming to the label's defense: Neil Young. The legend argues on his blog that WMG is the victim of an outdated contract and shouldn't be demonized for hitting the mute button on all Warner-licensed music on the 'Tube.
"Warner Reprise records was one of the very first to embrace YouTube. YouTube was in its fledgling stages when Warner made an early deal to work with them. Today, other labels have made more lucrative deals for their artists at You Tube," Young writes. "YouTube is the new radio... but not quite. Radio used to introduce music to the masses and was crucial to every new release, with identical compensation for every artist and label. Since YouTube has given some labels better deals that others, the Media Giant is treating artists unequally, depending on which label they are on."
Why didn't Warner Music just say that from the start? It's been a month and a half since WMG videos were muted, but it took until now for Young, who is signed to Warner's Reprise Records, to provide us with some perspective. "It is time for industry wide standards of artist's compensation on the Web. Reprise and Warner Bros. artists deserve what artists from other labels are getting," Young concludes. "Let the people decide what constitutes success. Warner Bros and Reprise are looking for a level playing field. Until they get one, these problems may not go away. That is the essence of the issue between Warner Bros Reprise and You Tube."
Videos that were previously muted, like the My Chemical Romance clip we featured in our last post on the YouTube-Warner battle, have since been pulled "due to copyright claim by WMG." Hopefully, this whole ordeal is straightened out by the time Young releases his new album Fork in the Road on April 7th.
• Neil Young Confirms New, Electric Car-Inspired LP "Fork in the Road" Due April 7th
• YouTube Hits The Mute Button as Royalty Fight With Warner Bros. Continues
• Warner Music Group Pulls Videos From YouTube As Talks Break Down