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YouTuber Hank Green to Irving Azoff: YouTube Helps Artists and ‘Everyone Knows It’

Hank Green, who makes a living from YouTube videos, questions the music mogul’s attack on Google’s site

YouTube, meet your white knight. Prominent online-video creator Hank Green rushed to the defense of Google’s massive video site after it got a lashing by music mogul Irving Azoff a day earlier.

“Being on YouTube is good for artists and record labels, and everybody knows it,” Hank Green wrote in an open letter published Tuesday on tech-news site Recode.

Monday, Azoff wrote in his own open letter that Google’s massive video site was exploiting systems to make it nearly impossible for artists to keep their work off the platform. He said that the company’s licensing arrangements with labels and publishers were “deals made out of desperation” and that YouTube’s business works well for Google but not for artists.

Green, alongside his best-selling author brother, John Green (both pictured), is a longtime YouTube creator and the CEO of VidCon, the biggest convention focused on digital video.

He disputed Azoff’s claim that artists’ attempts to keep their music off YouTube is like a game of “whack-a-mole” because YouTube’s ContentID system automatically identifies when any participating song has been uploaded.

“If you don’t want your song on YouTube, upload it into the ContentID database and issue a blanket takedown for all videos using that song. Boom. Done,” Green wrote.

But he said the reason that almost no artist or label takes that route is because the site is a powerful marketing and revenue tool. He cited Google’s $3 billion in royalties paid to the music industry.