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Billy Bragg, Radiohead Insist YouTube Pay Artists Larger Royalties… UK Featured Artists Coalition vs Google, Myspace, Nokia…

The FAC, which describes itself as a “coalition, not a union”, has been organised by Billy Bragg, the veteran protest singer, Dave Rowntree, the Blur drummer turned Labour Party candidate, and Radiohead, who walked out of a deal with EMI to release their last album In Rainbows directly over the internet….

“Google, YouTube’s owner is a company that makes billions in profits; we think they should be paying artist royalties from the advertising revenue they make,” Billy Bragg told The Times. “A dispute like this illustrates the needs for the creation of the Featured Artists Coalition, so we have have a voice and the public understand that sites like Google should be paying for music.”

The stars complain that performers often do not receive any royalties from digital music deals – struck on confidential terms none of the artists understand – and that music companies unfairly restrict creative expression by hanging on to copyright for up to 50 years.

Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, said: “The music companies did a deal with Nokia recently, so they could launch phones with access to all sorts of music. We think they all received advances from Nokia, but nobody is saying who got what – and we think some of that money should go to the artists.”

Another target of complaints is MySpace, the social networking website owned by News Corporation, parent company of The Times. Billy Bragg said: “I don’t know how much money MySpace makes from advertising, but we don’t receive any royalties from it. They are not putting any money back into content.”

Artists in the Featured Artists Coalition include: Billy Bragg, Boilerhouse Boys, Chrissie Hynde, Craig David, David Gilmour, Gang of Four, Iron Maiden, Jazzie B, Jools Holland, Kaiser Chiefs, Kate Nash, Klaxons, Radiohead, Richard Ashcroft, Robbie Williams, Sia Furler. Soul II Soul, Stephen Duffy, The Cribs, The Verve, Travis, Wet Wet Wet, and White Lies.