@bradhill: Grammy-winning musician and congressional witness calls YouTube a criminal racketeer

Increasingly vocal critics of YouTube have a heroic new champion, not new to the cause, but willing to dramatically escalate its rhetoric.

Five-time Grammy-winner Maria Schneider is a board member of the Council of Music Creators and testified before Congress in 2014 about copyright infringement on YouTube. This past weekend Schneider released her response to the U.S. Copyright Office’s request for comments in its examination of the “safe harbor” clause of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Her comments are excoriating, but just a first act to the lacerating open letter to YouTube composed by Schneider.

Both documents are meaty, detailed, and blazingly critical. Together they comprise the harshest and most articulate indictment of a stance taken by an increasing number of music rights-holders who have been speaking out more this year than ever before against YouTube’s position in the music ecosystem….

“YouTube is guilty of criminal racketeering,” Maria Schneider declares in her open letter, published on the MUSIC TECHNOLOGY POLICY site. “YouTube has thoroughly twisted, contorted, and abused the original meaning of the outdated DMCA “safe harbor” to create a massive income redistribution scheme, where income is continually transferred from the pockets of musicians and creators of all types, and siphoned directly into their own pockets.”

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