Musician Neil Young has put major tech companies such as Google on blast in a new essay posted on his website. The musician says that companies like Google are profiting by linking to piracy websites and depriving musicians of income. The post further added the question of how the next generation of musicians will survive in an era where major tech companies are supporting such piracy.
In Young’s post, he began by talking about his 1996 album Broken Arrows, and how the lyrics for the song “Music Arcade” made him think about his success earlier in his career, and starting wondering how musicians nowadays can achieve success like that. “Today, in the age of FaceBook [sic] GOOGLE and Amazon,” he writes, “it’s hard to tell how a new and growing musical artist could make it in the way we did.”
Going further in his post, he says that Google has greatly profited from searches (which includes searches for piracy websites), and completely left artists out of the loop. This isn’t exactly new either because the RIAA has complained for many years that Google has made it too easy for users to search for pirated music.
In 2015, Young has gone as far as to pulling his music from streaming services due to sound quality complaints. He’s been a huge critic of online music services. Though if you’re a fan of Neil Young, you should check out The Neil Young Archive. It’s a collection of almost all of his music and available in high-quality format. At the moment, the site is free, but users will start getting charged beginning June 30th.