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Eagles Manager Irving Azoff Demands Removal of 20,000 Songs From YouTube

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Irving Azoff, the manager for such industry giants as the Eagles and Steely Dan, is stepping up his campaign against unlicensed videos on YouTube. Earlier this week, he said that Google, who owns YouTube, is “in defiance” of his call that nearly 20,000 songs be removed from the popular site.

Billboard is reporting that Azoff, through his lawyers, sent YouTube a letter calling for the immediate removal of songs from 42 artists who have signed up with Azoff’s newly created Global Music Rights organization. Azoff is claiming that YouTube has not completed the necessary licensing procedure to include those songs as part of their subscription service Music Key, which was launched last week.

YouTube gave Billboard the following statement, which implies that they feel their existing licenses supercede GMR’s authority: “We’ve done deals with labels, publishers, collection societies and more to bring artists’ music into YouTube Music Key. To achieve our goal of enabling this service’s features on all the music on YouTube, we’ll keep working with both the music community and with the music fans invited to our beta phase.”

But Howard King, GMR’s counsel, said in his letter that “if YouTube contends that it has properly licensed any of the songs for public broadcast, a contention we believe to be untrue, demand is hereby made that we be furnished with documentation of such licenses.”

For their part, YouTube have found an innovative way to drag their feet on the prospect of removing the material. Azoff claimed that YouTube wants GMR to provide the links to every unauthorized upload of every one of those 20,000 songs. A simple search for “Eagles Take It Easy” yielded roughly 87,000 results. In other words, that’s a lot of work for an intern.

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