The 300 Entertainment founder is expected to smooth some of the edges between the video platform and the music industry.
We’ve been reporting for months on the rift between YouTube and the music industry, writ large, since Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx launched a fair royalties campaign against the video platform back in April. Two months later, Nine Inch Nails frontman and Apple Music Chief Creative Officer Trent Reznor said the company was “built on the backs of free, stolen content”.
Artists like Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Vince Staples, Pusha T and more signed a petition urging for digital copyright reform, demanding changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) so that it would no longer protect companies like YouTube from the actions of its users, like when they illegally upload songs they do not own the rights to.
YouTube’s solution? Hire music industry legend and legendary hardass Lyor Cohen as global head of music. Cohen’s role, as The New York Times reports, will be to encourage the “music world to embrace new technologies in promoting music and talent”. Or, as Cohen reportedly wrote in a letter to YouTube employees, he’s going to work with the music industry to “take the confusion and distrust out of the equation”.
According to the Times, Cohen will remain with 300 Entertainment (where Fetty Wap and Young Thug are signed) through December.
Earlier this week, major labels launched a landmark £35m lawsuit to stop music ripping from YouTube.