Just in: Youtube is taking down all Danish music

Just in: Youtube is taking down all Danish music


norman lebrecht

July 31, 2020

When Google/Youtube told the Danish rights agency that it was cutting royalty payments by 75 percent, the Danes refused a new deal.

As a consequence, Google is today taking down every copyright-protected Danish composer from its platform.

Who’s next?

Report here.



  • Karl says:

    Is SD becoming a bastion of right wing media? The wokesters have been praising deplatforming and ridiculing those who oppose it. Washington Post article:

    “How deplatforming became a rallying cry for right-wing media stars”

  • Tamino says:

    Fascism in a 21st century fashion. Resist Google.

  • Paul Dawson says:

    My prime interest in Danish music is the great Carl Nielsen. Is he copyright-protected?

  • SVM says:

    Good for the Danes. I wish PRS would stand up for us in the same way.

  • We privatize your value says:

    As of this writing, the symphonies by Per Nørgård are still on Youtube. Recommended, especially the Fourth!


    • SVM says:

      If the recording does not correspond to a commercial album, it is probable that nobody is getting royalties, because Youtube’s flawed “ContentID” system is reliant either on automated matches to commercial albums or on rightsholders flagging infringement. Such a model may cover people uploading personal copies of commercial albums (which is illegal, by the way), but it is hopeless when it comes to classical music, where a lot of recordings are made without ever being issued as a commercial album. As far as I can tell, there is no mechanism for a person uploading something to Youtube to declare the copyrights and assist in their fair and correct allocation.

    • SVM says:

      Postscript: when nobody is getting royalties from a Youtube video, Google is not obliged to share the (significant) advertising revenue from that video. So, I suppose we should not be surprised that Youtube cannot be bothered to help ensure royalties are allocated correctly, because they stand to gain money when royalties are not allocated (provided a rightsholder does not complain). What makes me so angry about Youtube’s /modus operandi/ is that there is not even a mechanism for uploaders and third parties to help identify rightsholders.

  • fred says:

    well, the Danes are right youtube killed the recording industry and literrally thousands and thousands of copyright recordings float around the channel. It’s a great tool but it has become a wilderness. Why would one buy a cd of callas or del monaco when all of their commercial recordings are available for free (admittedly not in the bes t of sound)…go figure. youtube is the wild-west and urgently needs re-thinking its policy

  • PHF says:

    Who cares about Danish music or any classical music at all? People who creates music never get any money from copyright, just editors and agencies get all the money. Any pop super star gets much more money in US than all classical music income. Google doesn’t care and danish have their right to refuse, but they won’t get a better proposition and neither will have any other platform to show their “work”. Anyway, too bad things are like that, real music is the weak part of the business… actually is no business at all.

  • david hilton says:

    As related, this story doesn’t quite make sense. KODA, the Danish performing rights agency, does not just represent Danish authors/composers. It represents the rights of ALL composers, regardless of their nationality, whose music is streamed to customers in Denmark. As the article notes, this is a practice standarised across Europe through reciprocal arrangements authorised by the recent EU Copyright Directive. So it is highly unlikely that Google would go to the trouble of isolating Danish composers simply to make some kind of symbolic gesture, while continuing to pay full contractual royalties in the far more common situations when Google is responsible to pay KODA for performances of American, French, British, and other repertoire for which they act as the agent collecting royalties in Denmark.

  • Dan says:

    There is an ongoing discussion in different forums whether the videos can be viewed with a VPN. Right now I am watching Barbara Hannigan singing Abrahamsen, so it’s not true about every Danish composer. And I don’t think YT is deleting them, just blackmailing KODA (the agency) into submission.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Who’s next? This is the standard behaviour of the tech giants who routinely air-brush anybody whose politics doesn’t accord with theirs. Where’s the surprise? If they can do it to the US President they’re coming after YOU.

    Just what we all need; more ‘Pravda truths’.

  • Rich Patina says:

    So, their royalties are finnished?