Sixx:AM Continue War on YouTube, Trent Reznor Weighs In
Nikki Sixx’s Sixx:AM featuring Nikki Sixx has made its feelings about YouTube very clear. The band first came out saying that the Google-owned streaming site was robbing the young generation of up-and-coming musicians like Taylor Swift, and then urged fans not to be wooed by their web of crafty legal reasoning.
Well, Sixx:AM have continued their war against the site. In a new open letter to Google’s Larry Page, Sixx:AM says the following:
“Recently, as a result of action and statements made by artists as diverse as Sixx AM, Debbie Harry, Nelly Furtado, Jay Z, Garth Brooks, Katy Perry, Stephen Tyler and Billy Joel, YouTube’s CBO Robert Kyncl met with independent artist representatives and asked them to help pause this protest in return for action.”
I’m sorry, but once again, notice how Sixx:AM, who claimed to be fighting YouTube to champion the next generation of rockers, does not name an artist who is not a millionaire (or anything close to modern rock and roll). Anyway:
“No action has been taken, meetings have been postponed, emails remain unanswered. The lack of action has hit a sour note with musicians, so we will be renewing our protests and taking the issue into our own hands.
“So we are now appealing to you Mr Page, as a saxophone player who ironically credits his love of music as the inspiration behind the success of the world’s most valuable company, to step up.
“As the man who coined the slogans, ‘Don’t be evil’ and ‘Do the right thing,’ we want you take your own advice before irreparable damage is done to the future of artists around the world. Artists from every genre are finding it impossible to pursue their art in a world dominated by YouTube.
“Without changes, young musicians will no longer be able to make music for a living and the next generation of fans will be robbed of great artists. Dreams of breaking into the music industry will effectively be unattainable.”
Meanwhile, Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor expressed similar issues with YouTube–while promoting the Apple Music, a service which he works with and acts as an ambassador for.
“Personally, I find YouTube’s business to be very disingenuous…It is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that’s how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It’s making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers. That’s how I feel about it. Strongly. We’re trying to build a platform that provides an alternative — where you can get paid and an artist can control where their [content] goes.”
At least Reznor doesn’t make himself into a martyr for the young rockers of today. And he has a point–you can find tons of music and movies for free on YouTube, given how easy it is for every Joe Nutsack to upload a song. If you’re an artist protecting where your work goes and how people pay to hear it, then YouTube is a problem.
That said, let’s not forget something Reznor doesn’t mention and Sixx is being disingenuous about: YouTube is a huge help to emerging artists. Having your work somewhere where anyone can hear it helps get the word out and build your following. And without YouTube, millions of pieces of interesting content–like, I don’t know, videos of chubby Slovenians interviewing Beliebers–wouldn’t have a platform. YouTube is officially the new Napster–the only artists who seem to have an issue with it are those who are so rich that they could never work again if they felt like it.
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