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Here's Why Radiohead's Lead Singer Is Comparing YouTube to the Nazis


"They’ve seized control of it – it’s like what the Nazis did during the Second World War."

Atoms For Peace, with Thom Yorke and Flea, perform on Day 3 of the 2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP)

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke accused YouTube and its parent company Google of seizing control of musicians’ creations, likening the phenomenon to the Nazis who plundered art during World War II.

He also shared how he uses an app to circumvent pre-roll ads on YouTube videos for which he asserted that artists are not properly compensated.

“They’ve seized control of it — it’s like what the Nazis did during the Second World War. Actually, it’s like what everyone was doing during the war, even the English — stealing the art of other countries. What difference is there?” Yorke told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea perform at the 2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival Oct. 6, 2013, in Austin, Texas. (Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP)

According to a translation posted Tuesday by the Guardian, Yorke said, “They’re making money with the work of loads of artists who don’t get any benefit from it. People continue to say that this is an era where music is free, cinema is free. It’s not true.”

“The creators of services make money — Google, YouTube. A huge amount of money, by trawling, like in the sea — they take everything there is. ‘Oh, sorry, was that yours? Now it’s ours. No, no, we’re joking — it’s still yours,’” the British musician said.

Yorke explained how he circumvents pre-roll ads on YouTube, another source of annoyance for him.

“A friend of mine told me about this app to skip commercials on YouTube. … They put advertising before any content, making a lot of money and yet, artists are not paid or are paid small sums, and apparently this is fine for them [YouTube],” Yorke said. “The funny thing is that YouTube has said ‘that’s not fair’ [to AdBlocker]. You know? They say it’s not fair – the people who put adverts in front of any piece of content, making a load of money, while artists don’t get paid or are paid laughable amounts – and that seems fine to them. But if [YouTube] don’t get a profit out of it, it’s not fair.”

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