Eastenders' Theme Writer And Abba Singer Criticise Youtube On Artists Forum

A number of high profile artists have come together on a new website called fair play for creators to back PRS for Music's side against the battle it is wagging against Google and Youtube.

The site, called Fair Play for Creators, is lobbying in order to get a fair price for the content produced by the 60,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers it represents who, together have participated to more than 10 million songs.

Björn Ulvaeus, ABBA's songwriter, said that he got "cross when internet companies paint the picture of a faceless and immensely powerful 'intellectual property industry' as their main enemy just because it suits them".

Simon May, who wrote the famous Easteenders theme tune, added that "It is a great shame that Google seems to be unnecessarily blocking what could be a beneficial deal for all parties - fans, creators and online services alike."

Google is notorious for being a hard player when it comes to paying royalties for the content creators (ed: after all, Google doesn't create ANY content, it merely manages it).

Last week, Pete Waterman, the man behind's Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give you up", the theme of the global phenomenon that was rickrolling, told the Sun that he only got paid £11 by Youtube, representing only 27.5 pennies for every 1 million pageviews.

That's even more than another British rock group Marillion, who said he got 0.6 pence for 10 million page views.

Google issued a statement saying "We absolutely believe that artists and songwriters should make money from the use of their material. We previously had a license with the PRS to enable this to happen and we're very committed to reaching terms so that we can renew our license." (ed: Maybe they should close down then).

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Our Comments

It is slightly infuriating that Google, whose motto is "Don't be evil, is trying to use the argument that they can't engage in a business in which it loses money every time a music video is played. That's absolutely not an excuse to continue playing the videos. Maybe the PRS and the recording labels should set up, with the movie industry, something similar to Spotify. I'd be the first to sign up.

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