Jack White, Beck and Lady Gaga join petition against YouTube

Musicians want to stop anyone being able to post copyright material

Jack White, Beck and Lady Gaga are among the latest musicians who have signed a petition aiming to stop YouTube from hosting copyrighted material.

Dozens of musicians and many record labels are seeking reform to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the US. Currently, it allows sites such as YouTube to host any music and videos posted by users, providing they comply with requests from artists to remove the material if they protest.

The law came into force 20 years ago, and the petition states it’s outdated and in need of reform. Those previously known to have signed the petition include Paul McCartney{/a], U2, Taylor Swift, Guns N’ Roses, Pharrell, Ryan Adams, Kings Of Leon, Trent Reznor, Fleetwood Mac, The Black Keys, David Byrne, Krist Novoselic and Miguel.

Although the petition doesn’t specifically name YouTube, it states that firms make “huge profits” by allowing people “to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish.”

[a]The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney said: “I can probably find 250 songs in five minutes on YouTube which the artist isn’t getting paid for.”

Although he hasn’t signed the petition, Thom Yorke has compared YouTube to Nazi Germany, saying YouTube and its owners Google have “seized control of art”.