When New York musicians create songs, it may feel as though they are sharing a piece of themselves with the world. It is only fair that they are properly financially compensated for the use of that music. However, with the internet, that is becoming increasingly more difficult to do. Streaming services such as the ones offered by Google, Apple and Pandora have come under fire recently for allegedly not compensating artists and related companies for the use of music. One royalty collection firm recently filed a civil suit against several different streaming companies alleging that they violated copyright law.
The collection firm, Pro Music Rights, claims that all of the companies listed in its lawsuit have used music without paying songwriters accordingly. One of the problems seems to be that certain streaming sites allow users to upload their own content. That means that users may be uploading music illegally and allowing others to access it. A streaming service may have its own uploaded version that is properly licensed, but doesn’t remove the illegal versions.
Experts say that ideally, streaming sites and record labels should work in tandem to ensure that all uploaded music is licensed, but that isn’t happening. Some argue that certain sites like Google are attempting to operate legally and compensate artists in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As for Pro Music Rights, it may have a difficult time suing all of the very large companies it is targeting, but representatives say it is doing so in an effort to defend songwriters.
Copyright law is crucial for musicians. It gives artists of all mediums the means of holding accountable anyone who misuses their artists’ creations. Those here in New York who wonder how copyright law may help them can speak to an attorney who can advise them of their rights.