YouTube Strikes Licensing Deal With ASCAP

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and video streaming service YouTube have signed a multi-year agreement for US public performance rights and data collaboration.

The agreement, which goes into effect immediately, will see ASCAP's members "paid more fairly and accurately for the use of their music on YouTube" the performance rights organization said.

“This agreement achieves two important ASCAP goals – it will yield substantially higher overall compensation for our members from YouTube and will continue to propel ASCAP’s ongoing transformation strategy to lead the industry toward more accurate and reliable data. The ultimate goal is to ensure that more money goes to the songwriters, composers and publishers whose creative works fuel the digital music economy," ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthew said in a statement announcing the deal.

YouTube has become a flashpoint in recent years over song royalties, with labels claiming that YouTube reaps financial rewards for hosting copyrighted content, including music, but failing to pay proper compensation to rights holders.

YouTube argues that are merely a service provider under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act but have taken steps to address industry concerns, such as the rollout of a subscription-based service, as well as the implementation of automatic copyright protection systems that allow for potential violations to the flagged.

In a transparency report, YouTube claims to have removed 2.44 billion webpages containing for copyright reasons, but have drawn criticism from its content creators who claim that the video services' copyright strike system is draconian and biased in favor of rights holders, with little redress available when content is, in their view, unfairly removed over erroneous copyright claims. – Staff Writers