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article imageTaylor Swift calls for copyright law reform

By Tim Sandle     Jun 21, 2016 in Internet
A group of artists, including Taylor Swift, U2, Sir Elton John, and Sir Paul McCartney, have joined a campaign to get online copyright laws reformed.
In total some 180 artists have signed an online letter criticizing the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The act implements two 1996 treaties passed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). These:
Criminalizes the production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works.
The act further criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself.
The concern of the artists, made in their letter, is that the act benefits companies that seek to "exploit music for their financial enrichment"; however, these financial awards do not, to a great extent, benefit artists. Further, the artists claim that "music consumption has skyrocketed", but at the same time the money earned by writers and artists has "plummeted".
As CD sales have fallen, albeit with streaming services on the rise, the artists are concerned that DMCA protects websites from being sued if users upload copyright music. Central to the act is a clause that preevtns websites from being held responsible for copyright infringement by their users (this is provided that the website removes the infringing content as soon as it becomes aware of it.) The rate of take-down notices has increased, according to Digital Music News (@digitalmusicnws), which tweeted: "Google’s DMCA Takedown Notices Quadruple In Just Two Years."
Tellingly, Billboard notes, the open letter from artists comes at the same time as record labels are renegotiating deals with YouTube.
Not everyone support reform, however. Jeff Roberts writing in Fortune states: "YouTube offers sophisticated tools that not only allow the music industry to zap unauthorized videos but, if they choose, to insert ads to make money off them instead."
More about online copyright, Taylor swift, U2, Paul maccartney, Copyright
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