YouTube explains why some artists on its platform are asked to sign ‘non-disparagement’ agreements

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YouTube has responded to reports that the company has been asking artists to sign ‘non-disparagement agreements’.

Last month, Bloomberg cited sources who suggested that YouTube was committing to promotional agreements with artists worth $200,000 – but only if the act was willing to sign a contract forbidding them from publicly criticizing the service.

YouTube has now acknowledged that these stipulations do occasionally appear in one-off contracts with its promotional partners – presumably, including music performers.

But it says they are not standard practice, and certainly don’t figure in standard licensing deals on its platform.

“We do not have clauses in our standard partner agreements with creators, labels and artists referencing disparagement,” a YouTube spokesperson told MBW.

“This type of clause is often used in the entertainment industry and is intended to protect companies, not so much from the words an individual may express, but more so their actions, especially in today’s times.”

“In rare instances when we align our brand more closely to a specific creator tied to new original content or one-off promotional work, we may ask them to sign an agreement that includes general language around conduct.”

The firm added: “This type of clause is often used in the entertainment industry and is intended to protect companies, not so much from the words an individual may express, but more so their actions, especially in today’s times.”

YouTube is widely expected to launch a new Spotify rival, codenamed Remix, in the coming months.Music Business Worldwide

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