Don Henley at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee in 2017 (photo by Laura Roberts/Invision/AP).

Eagles’ songwriter Don Henley is petitioning for a stronger copyright law to protect artists against online pirating, the Associated Press reported. His plea to Congress attests to the larger copyright fight between the record industry and tech platform giants such as Google’s YouTube.

The hitmaker and Preston Hollow neighbor testified online before a Senate Judiciary committee considering potential changes to a 1998 copyright law. At present, this law permits owners of copyrighted material to formally ask the parties who pirate to remove the stolen content from the internet. If the parties timely agree to the request, no legal consequences play out. Failure to comply could result in criminal penalties.

Henley argued that this weak law needs reform so that the movie and record industries, entertainment software creators and authors can more effectively stop online piracy of their work.

Henley accused the law of being “a relic of a MySpace era in a TikTok world,” the Associated Press reported. The current law “still allows Big Tech to rake in revenue,” Henley said.

The subcommittee chairman, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., agrees that artists and industries have experienced major fallouts due to the pandemic and the ever-increasing issue of online pirating of copyrighted material. “The current system is failing and it’s failing badly,” Tillis stressed.

Other senators who listened to the hearing were Chris Coons of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, both Democrats who support the looming change to the copyright law.

On the other hand, there are many cases where copyright holders wrongly accuse content users of piracy. Jonathan Berroya, president and CEO of Internet Association, testified that tech companies do not desire profit from pirated content. A large amount of infringement occurs by companies outside of the country and beyond the grasps of U.S. law.


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