WATCH: Eagles' Don Henley testifies for copyright law change before congress

News 04/06/2020

Eagles co-founder Don Henley testified before Congress yesterday in a bid to change the copyright laws that were "badly outdated".

The 73-year old Henley said that he had a responsibility to speak out on behalf of his fellow musicians who were affected by the regulations that he claimed unfairly favours digital platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.

Eagles had consistently shut down any attempts to post material owned by them digitally. Many fan footage of their concerts were often taken down within hours, if not days.

"I want to change or improve outdated laws and regulations that have been abused for over 20 years by big tech," Henley told the bipartisan Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, chaired by Senator Thom Tillis (Rep.) from North Carolina.

Speaking from his home under lockdown, Henley testified, "At age 73, I am in the final chapter of my career. But I come here out of a sense of duty and obligation to those artists and those creators who paved the road for me and my contemporaries and for those who will travel this road after us."

He also added that these digital giants are "flourishing" while artists have no ability to fight the rampant infringement that occurs on these platforms.

Watch his testimony below.

Henley has described the current laws as "a relic of a MySpace era in a TikTok world."

"I have worked hard to establish my career and reputation, and I have enjoyed success," Henley explained. "But for me, this is a matter of principle. I am speaking out for the songwriters and recording artists who are struggling to make a living, particularly now when our industry has been decimated by the pandemic. We need equitable compensation for the rights guaranteed to authors under the constitution."

Senator Tillis added that the current system in place is failing badly and had enabled easier access for piracy on a faster pace which helped to normalise it.

He also noted, "I envision having at least 10 DMCA-related hearings throughout the year, with the goal of producing a draft reform bill by December. It's going to be a huge lift, but it's an issue that needs to be addressed. I'm happy to tackle the challenge, and I'm looking forward to this process.