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YOUTUBE WEIGHS IN ON STREAMING
2/1/21

YouTube has warned the U.K. Government that new legislation could result in “lowering the revenue” it pays to media and music companies as a result of online services “needing to over-block content to mitigate potentially significant legal risk.”

In a written submission to the U.K.’s ongoing inquiry into the economics of streaming, YouTube’s comments follow the third evidence session on 1/19, where issues were raised around the service’s Content ID system, its ability to “hide behind” safe harbor laws, and the amount it pays to artists vs. the amount of music consumption that happens on the service.

YouTube said record labels agree that it could become “the music industry’s #1 source of revenue by 2025” in. its submission. It warns, however,  that “any overbroad” implementation of legislation like Article 17—which calls for stricter copyright-infringement controls that the U.K. is no longer legally required to implement following Brexit—“may lead to vague, untested requirements” that could result in online services having a stricter approach to blocking content. This, YouTube wrote, “will potentially devastate the many creators, artists and songwriters who have built their businesses on our platform.”

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