- 04 Sep 18
Irish musician Laura Mulcahy has unwillingly found herself in the middle of an exhausting struggle to secure her music, following an error from YouTube.
As if musicians didn't have to struggle enough in the digital age where artist revenues have been slashed year after year and unregulated tech firms have disenfranchised a generation of creators, but when small - yet important - administrative errors are made, they can have massive impacts on individuals.
This is the situation Laura Mulcahy now finds herself in.
The young Irish musician discovered several days ago that her album Funeral, Home, Lizard... was attached to a completely different YouTube account from her own, meaning - in essence - that her property and creations have been given to someone else.
Without being able to get any formal contact in response from YouTube, Laura has been left in a frustrating, Kafkaesque limbo.
"I might not have millions of views on YouTube or have the social capital that comes with that, but my music stands on it's own," she stresses, speaking to Hot Press. "It is no lesser than anything else out there, and if I end up having to take my work down, I will lose a massive chunk of my life's work."
Laura's situation links back to a wider problem in the music industry. Artists are more dependent than ever on streaming companies in order to share their music in an evolved market, but when mistakes like this occur, it sheds light on both the lack of regulation and the lack of support that these artists really have. Indeed, it demonstrates very starkly the extent to which multi-billion tech companies, like Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and others, routinely treat ordinary people – including artists – very badly.
"The systems in place for supporting artists are entirely inadequate," Laura says. "We are continually treated as if we are not fully-fledged adult members of the human race, because with being an artist comes all the baggage of your head being 'in the clouds'. We are the exact opposite in fact. Artists are resourceful, hard working and bring projects in on time, on tight budgets, all the time.
"YouTube should be on it's knees thanking all its contributors for their work. Instead, things like my current debacle are taking place. I'm hardly well known, and PR is not my mission in life, but if this can happen to me, this can happen to any one of you, musician or otherwise, out there."
In the immediate moment though, Laura Mulcahy has spent several days trying to fix this issue. It's a problem that could be solved very easily if the will was there. If anyone, has any advice, they can contact Laura at https://twitter.com/TheLauraMulcahy or https://www.facebook.com/lmulchlizard/