Published Mar 06, 2008According to the top music brass, artists have received zero cash from the licensing deal struck between the four major labels and YouTube, CNET News.com has reported. While a statement from Googles video site says they are sharing the money generated from ad dollars with the labels, managers are saying little, or in some cases none, of that money has fallen into the hands of the artists.
"I don't know any artist who has gotten a royalty statement [from their label that includes YouTube money], music attorney Chris Castle told CNET.
Several of the artist representatives, such as Jay Rosenthal, legal counsel for the Recording Artists Coalition, are saying that YouTube is unable to accurately track copyrighted material on the site and therefore the labels cannot financially compensate their artists fairly [and where perhaps the labels pocket any financial discrepancies that are in their favour ed.].
"This is endemic to a lot of areas, Rosenthal told the publication. "The performers really dont know how they get paid. You just assume you get 50 percent of something. What we want to know is what kind of metadata do they get from these services to show this is what is played. If you cant get metadata then you have to come up with some formula. Otherwise if you don't, then the labels sit on their [asses] and dont pay the artists because they dont know how.
The deal between the record companies began in 2006, where YouTube agreed to pay the majors for the use of their artists material and to "share revenue generated from playback. However, all financial details of the agreements have thus far remained cloaked in secrecy, leaving artists relying on the old honour system.