Radiohead front man Thom Yorke has attacked YouTube and its parent company Google, accusing them of stealing art like the Nazis during World War II.
In an interview with Italian publication La Repubblica, Yorke is quoted saying “A friend of mine told me about this app to skip commercials on YouTube…They put advertising before any content, making a lot of money and yet, artists are not paid or are paid small sums, and apparently this is fine for them [YouTube]”
When asked about the ways in which a musician can profit from making music in the digital world, he said:
“I don’t have the solution to these problems. I only know that they’re making money with the work of loads of artists who don’t get any benefit from it. People continue to say that this is an era where music is free, cinema is free. It’s not true. The creators of services make money – Google, YouTube. A huge amount of money, by trawling, like in the sea – they take everything there is. ‘Oh, sorry, was that yours? Now it’s ours. No, no, we’re joking – it’s still yours’. They’ve seized control of it – it’s like what the Nazis did during the second world war. Actually, it’s like what everyone was doing during the war, even the English – stealing the art of other countries. What difference is there?”
Yorke is no stranger to controversy involving music sourcing, famously labelling Spotify as “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse”.