YouTube are in a little bit of a legal bind which can cost them up to $1 billion.
Yesterday afternoon, it was reported that Pharrell, The Eagles, and other musicians had filed a lawsuit against the popular music streaming site which can result in a major pay out. Lawyers for the artists have demanded that YouTube take down over 20,000 videos from the streaming site which they reportedly have no rights to.
According to Irving Azoff, the founder of a new legal group named the Global Music Rights, YouTube does not have the performance right to thousands of songs from his clients which include the previous named musicians as well as Chris Cornell, John Lennon, and Smokey Robinson, and more.
Azoff also claims that even though YouTube negotiated with the respected record labels for the rights to the music, they did not reach out to negotiate with the artists themselves. Azoff also says that his clients want to pursue YouTube first because they are the least cooperative of the companies and that their clients feel they are the worst offenders.
Google, who will be launching their own subscription music service next year in a partnership with YouTube, claim that the site does in fact have the performance rights from previous deals that had been made.
Global Music Rights’ lawyer Howard King says that has yet to be seen.
“Without providing a shred of documentation, you blithely proffer that YouTube can ignore the Notices because it operates under blanket licenses from performing rights organizations other than Global,” reads the letter King sent to YouTube earlier this month.
“However, you refuse to provide the details of any such license agreements, presumably because no such agreements exist for YouTube’s present uses of the songs in any service, but certainly with respect to its recently added Music Key service.”
But this streaming site vs artist battle is nothing new and has been escalating more a more over the past few months. The major hit came when Taylor Swift decided to pull her entire catalog off of Spotify which resulted in the music streaming giant trying to coax her back with “cutesy” letters. That did not work as we all know.