Pearl Jam, Linkin Park, Trent Reznor + More Call for Reform of Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Pearl Jam, Linkin Park, Trent Reznor, Sir Paul McCartney, Jack White, Lady Gaga, U2, Beck, Elton John, Britney Spears .... that sounds like one hell of a festival lineup, but in actuality those are just a few of the names that have lent their support to a petition asking for the reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
As we've seen in recent months, many artists have united to express their discontent over the way that their music is distributed via the Internet and the lack of compensation that's occurred as a result of the birth of YouTube's video service and the number of music streaming platforms.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton back in 1998 with the goal of updating copyright laws for the digital age, but on New Year's Eve, the Copyright Office announced its intent to evaluate the safe harbor provisions of the DCMA that protect Internet service providers from third parties who illegally share content online.
“While Congress understood that it would be essential to address online infringement as the Internet continued to grow, it may have been difficult to anticipate the online world as we now know it, where each day users upload hundreds of millions of photos, videos and other items, and service providers receive over a million notices of alleged infringement,” said the announcement from the Copyright Office.
In the years since the DCMA was signed into law, we've seen the birth of YouTube and streaming services that have become more common ways for music lovers to get their music. In a petition signed by over 150 artists across many genres, it's stated that the artists signing feel that the system is "broken and no longer works for creators." The petition adds, "It has allowed major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish. Music consumption has skyrocketed, but the monies generated by individual writers and artists for that consumption has plummeted. The growth and support of technology companies should not be at the expense of artists and songwriters."
In addition to the aforementioned Pearl Jam, Linkin Park, Trent Reznor, Jack White and Sir Paul McCartney, you'll find The Black Keys, Chris Cornell, Amy Lee, Queens of the Stone Age, Billy Idol, Filter, Rush, Rival Sons, Saint Asonia, Slash and Duff McKagan, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Steven Tyler and many more who have signed on to share their concerns. According to Rolling Stone, the petition with the names signed is currently running as an ad in Washington, D.C.-area publications.