Former Chairman of Live Nation Threatens to Remove Eagles, John Lennon, Other Works from YouTube

Recently, it was announced that Irving Azoff, a music industry heavyweight who has represented the Eagles, John Lennon, Foreigner, Pharrell Williams, and others is threatening to remove tens of thousands of tunes from YouTube, because he believes the new YouTube Music Key subscription service is not prepared in regards to fair royalties for songwriters.

YouTube Music Key will compete with Pandora and Spotify, two highly popular subscription music services.  Azoff, who is the former chairman of Live Nation, now has a new venture in the works with the focus being to collect increased performance rights royalties for songwriters.  The new venture is called GMR (Global Music Rights).  Azoff reportedly told a Hollywood news magazine that he was prepared to remove about 20,000 copyrighted works of 42 of his clients including George and Ira Gershwin, Chris Cornell, Boston, Smokey Robinson, and others from YouTube and the new Music Key.

Azoff believes strongly that because of the ever-evolving methods consumers use to listen to music, many listening to streaming services rather than purchasing CDs, songwriters should be compensated more by the services that stream music.  Azoff said that writers’ rights were being “trampled on” in the digital marketplace, and that GMR would give both songwriters and publishers an opportunity to work together in order for artists’ creative works to have meaningful license for their intellectual property.

Recently, Taylor Swift made the decision to take her songs off of Spotify because of concerns about royalties.  Pandora is currently in a dispute regarding performance licenses with big music publishers who a judge determined had to be either “all in” or “all out” when it comes to digital rights.  In the meantime, perhaps YouTube and Google were hoping that big music publishers would forget about them, at least for a while – but not Irving Azoff, who is said to be working with Randy Grimmett and providing more leverage when it comes to negotiating higher royalties with their new rights management services than BMI and ASCAP.

It is certainly understandable that songwriters and musicians would be concerned about how streaming online music services could impact their profits, considering that with the direction consumers are moving, less music will be purchased both on- and offline.

At Spotora & Associates, our Los Angeles copyright attorneys understand how difficult it is for songwriters and others with creative works to not only protect those works, but collect the royalties they deserve.  We invite those from all avenues of entertainment to contact us concerning your issue regarding copyrights, trademarks, business contracts and agreements, and more.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 at 2:53 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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