Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young took aim at Google on Friday, ranting about how the search engine has been seriously hurting musicians and the music business in recent years.
In a written post released from the Neil Young Archives, Young wrote that Google and other tech companies have been "building their wealth on music's back and paying nothing to the artists."
"Today, in the age of Facebook, Google and Amazon, it's hard to tell how a new and growing musical artist could make it in the way we did," Young wrote. "The Tech Giants have figured out a way to use all the great music of everyone from all time, without reporting an artist's number of plays or paying a f—king cent to the musicians. Aren't they great companies!!! It makes you wonder where the next generation of artists will come from. How will they survive?"
Disputes of how much artists get paid for their work from their music being available for free streaming on sites like YouTube and Spotify have been going on for years. Spotify, for example, was hit with a lawsuit for $1.6 billion in early January for failing to achieve proper licensing for over 10,000 artists.
"'Don't be evil.' That was Google's corporate motto as they directed users to pirate sites to get artist's creations and not pay!! Amazing tech breakthrough!! Meanwhile, they reap the bucks from ads people read while listening to music made my artists," Young continued. "Google just changed their motto from 'Do the Right Thing,' but haven't changed anything else as they continue to rip off the artist community, building their wealth on music's back and paying nothing to the artists. WOW! Brilliant tech breakthrough! BTW, Google is YouTube. Guess who's next?"
Known for his bands Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills Nash & Young and his solo work, Young won a Grammy in 2011 for writing the song "Angry World" and the Juno award for Best Adult Alternative Album for Le Noise.