Lyor Cohen warns music industry over ‘unintended consequences’ of Article 13

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YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen has called the implications of Article 13 into question within a monthly newsletter sent to a large group of industry execs.

These YouTube newsletters are often co-authored by top managers, curators, film directors, etc and include topical music business subjects.

In the missive sent out today (November 1), Cohen invited John Shahidi, CEO of Shots Studios, a management company which produces content for musicians and artists to talk about ‘How to Build Fandoms on Open Platforms’.

But Cohen also used the opportunity to warn of what he sees as dangers surrounding the passage of the new European Copyright Directive – including provision Article 13, which would see platforms like YouTube become legally liable for copyright-infringing content uploaded by its users.

The European Parliament voted on the EU Copyright Directive in Strasbourg on September 12, passing Article 13 into law.

Writing in the letter, Cohen said: “We understand and support the intent of Article 13. We need effective ways for copyright holders to protect their content.

“But we believe that the current proposal will create severe unintended consequences for the whole industry. We still have a couple of weeks to work together towards a better final version of the law.

“We believe that the current proposal will create severe unintended consequences for the whole industry.”

“The music industry should really pay attention to these unintended consequences – the system that largely contributes to their success is at risk of major change in the European Union.”

Later in the interview with Shahidi, Cohen said: “… the success of the music industry and the creative environment that has benefited so many artists are threatened by Article 13, as written. I encourage everyone making a living in this industry to learn more about it and join us to propose a better version together.”

Cohen’s comments come after another YouTube exec, Susan Wojcicki, wrote a letter to creators on expressing her concern about the impact that Article 13 poses to the artist community.

You can read Cohen’s newsletter in full below.