It's no secret that YouTube, as a platform, is far from perfect. Just look at the comments section and you'll get a glimpse into that. It's not so good for the creators either, as a new set of ads aims to highlight flaws with the DMCA takedown process and just how little money they earn from the platform.
The ads come from the Content Creators Coalition (c3), an advocacy group run by musicians for musicians. As you won't be surprised to hear, both ads do that classic trope of mimicking Apple's old Mac vs PC ads, with a young hip character (representing artists and creators) in conversation with a middle age dude in a suit (YouTube).
The first focuses on DMCA takedowns, with an artist lamenting the fact he has to individually ask to have videos that infringe his copyright removed. YouTube has over a billion users, so that's way too much for one person. Plus if they don't take it down, YouTube says you have to get a lawyer - which ain't cheap. Especially not when three people will repost the video whenever one gets taken down, like some sort of piracy hydra.
There is an automated system in place that gets no mention, however, though the ContentID system is also not without its controversies. Not only does ContentID help to remove infringing videos, it can also block them and prevent the uploader from profiting from ad revenue at the expense of the artist.
The second ad focuses on how YouTube doesn't pay all that much, and artists can generate more revenue from smaller services where their stuff receives fewer listeners.
Both ads will run on YouTube and other major video sites, designed to make companies like Google that profit from artists' work without fairly compensating them. c3 President Melvin Gibbs said:
“Google’s YouTube has shortchanged artists while earning billions of dollars of our music. Artists know YouTube can do better. So, rather than hiding behind outdated laws, YouTube and Google should work to give artists more control over our music and pay music creators fairly when our songs are played on their platform.
Our ads send a message to the executives in Mountain View that artists are fighting back and mobilising fans to push Congress to update the DMCA and end the legal neglect that has given Big Tech too much power over our work and society."