YouTube is being forced to significantly increase the amount it pays to record labels for use of their music, under a new European copyright regime.
The enforcement is due to come into play next year and is designed to boost licensing fees for musicians, songwriters and other content creators.
YouTube and other sites that allow users to upload videos, are protected under ‘safe harbour rules,’ shielding them from liabilities for the large volume of music copyrighted music uploaded by users.
Currently, as long as it is removed on request, sites like YouTube remain safe from prosecution.
However, recent years have seen music labels lobby governments to close the loophole in order to repair the ‘value gap’ between what they earn from YouTube compard to the likes of music streaming sites like Spotify and Apple Music.
The global recording industry body, IFPI, estimates that YouTube pays record companies $1 per user per year, while Spotify and Apple Music pay in the region of $20.
The changes – supported by the likes of Sir Paul McCartney – would force YouTube to sign licensing deals with labels, increasing income for these labels ‘considerably.’