More than a dozen artists and managers are urging lawmakers to make “drastic reforms” to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Some of music's most elite artists, including Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Garth Brooks, CeeLo Green, Steven Tyler, deadmau5, Lionel Richie, Tony Bennett, Pearl Jam, Bette Midler, and dozens more, filed a petition with the U.S. Copyright Office in a quest to create a safer environment to release music and videos online. The complaint outlines their struggles with “antiquated policies” and acts as a measure to “protect the future of the music industry, recording artists and songwriters,” according to a statement from the RIAA via EW.
The act follows a report from the RIAA which states streaming music is on the upswing, however revenue isn't keeping up, labeling it an "alarming disparity." So alarming that just 17 million vinyl album sales brought in more revenue than billions of on-demand and ad-supported streams by more than $30 million
"The popularity of music is greater than ever... It is the throbbing heartbeat of social media and it is a must-have ingredient of any major technology platform," said RIAA CEO Cary Sherman in a statement. "But reforms are necessary to level the playing field and ensure that the entire music community derives the full and fair value of our work."
Three letters were filed – one from the artist's managers, one from creators and one from artists and songwriters that ”detail[s] how the out-dated DMCA and its faulty notice-and-takedown system allows some tech companies such as Google, YouTube, Tumblr, just to name a few, to build multi-billion dollar businesses off their content without compensation and drag down the value of their hard work into fractional digital pennies,” according to the statement.
They cite when one link is taken down, even more appear. “Today, the instant an infringing link is taken down, it is replaced by many more,” the filing says. “It’s ‘whack-a-mole’ on steroids in which every time the mole is knocked down, two more pop up, then four, then eight.”
Managers supporting the reform say the core problem of the law is "utter failure of the notice-and-takedown system to keep up with technological innovation and change."
"No one can police that vastness – and anyone who tries to do so finds the universe online is growing faster than our ability to inspect it for illegal copies of our clients’ work."
The artists are fighting a battle against The Internet Association, which represents tech companies like Facebook and Google. The NY Post claims the latter will receive roughly one billion takedown notices in 2016 alone. “The laws strike a balance between facilitating free speech and creativity while protecting the interests of copyright holders,” The Internet Association said in a statement. “These smart laws allow people to post content that they have created on platforms — such as videos, reviews, pictures, and text. In essence, this is what makes the Internet great.”
Some suggestions that could get implemented include “audio fingerprinting,” which stops redistribution of unlicensed music by metadata analysis which will automatically remove or disabling of links to the pirated content.
In other words, there's money to be made.