Music mogul tells YouTube to remove 20,000 songs

19 Nov 2014

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Irving Azoff. Photo via s_bukley/Shutterstock.com

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Influential music manager Irving Azoff has told YouTube to remove 20,000 songs that it allegedly doesn’t have a licence to stream.

The video sharing website recently unveiled a new music subscription service, YouTube Music Key. But according to Azoff, the Google-owned website does not have all of the licensing necessary for the new initiative as agreements made with record labels did include a deal with the 66-year-old's new venture, Global Music Rights (GMR), which represents about 42 songwriters.

In a letter sent by the organisation's lawyer Howard King to YouTube general counsel Kent Walker, GMR said that YouTube has failed to comply with demands to stop performing the 20,000 songs written by its clients. "Obviously, if YouTube contends that it has properly licensed any of the songs for public broadcast, a contention we believe to be untrue, demand is hereby made that we be furnished with documentation of such licenses," he wrote.

Speaking to Billboard, a spokesman for YouTube responded: "We've done deals with labels, publishers, collection societies and more to bring artists' music into YouTube Music Key. To achieve our goal of enabling this service's features on all the music on YouTube, we'll keep working with both the music community and with the music fans invited to our beta phase."

For €9.99 per month, YouTube Music Key allows users to listen to music through streaming or preloading the tracks or album onto a device for offline listening.

Azoff's clients include The Eagles, Pharrell Williams and Smokey Robinson.

Irving Azoff image via Shutterstock

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Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com