Could this policy update be the end of YouTube and the beginning of something better?
The future of the internet has been uncertain in recent years as governments seek to censor and limit internet activity, and corporations seek to further monopolize the industry. With all of the constant debate, possible legislation and changes to large websites, it is nearly impossible to keep up on how the war for the internet is going.
The most recent worry among advocates of internet freedom, is the changes that YouTube is considering making to their site. One change in particular that seems to be set in stone, is a subscription service that will require YouTube users to pay for certain content. This policy change could potentially result in the removal of thousands of songs and videos that are not authorized under YouTube’s new policies.
“We’re adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube with this in mind—to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year. We are excited that hundreds of major and independent labels are already partnering with us,” a Google spokesperson said.
These policies will be a major inconvenience for music fans, but will likely cause a serious disruption for small independent artists and musicians who seem to be targeted by this new format. Independent labels and musicians seem to be hit the hardest by these new policies. If these small labels don’t agree to pay up, then YouTube will leave them off of the paid service and also take their current videos down from the free YouTube service.
“We have tried and will continue to try to help YouTube understand just how important independent music is to any streaming service and why it should be valued accordingly.” said The Worldwide Independent Network’s chief executive Alison Wenham. The Worldwide Independent Network is an organization created to help push business, creative, and market access interests for the independent music community.
While this move will undoubtedly spark endless political debate, the true solution to this issue is not a political one, it is a creative one. Trying to save YouTube was a lost cause long before they were bought out by Google. What is needed is not a new law that will dictate how YouTube should conduct their business, but instead we need a brand new video hosting platform that is free and opened source.
The need has been there for a long time, but now this unfortunate circumstance could end up being a blessing in disguise, because it could just provide the incentive that was needed for a less restricting video hosting platform to be created.