YouTube clarifies non-disparagement clauses in artist contracts


YouTube was criticised last month after a report claimed that the company is binding musicians to ‘non-disparagement’ clauses, in contracts signed when it is providing funding and promotional support for their video projects. The company has now clarified its intentions, and stressed that such clauses are not being applied more generally on its platform.

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

“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 keen to make it clear that its general monetisation contracts for artists (or indeed anyone) using its platform do not have such clauses.

Music Ally

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