Yeah, the Rickrolling phenomenon was annoying for the entire world, but you'd expect the songwriter would at least be pleased, right? But despite its massive popularity, songwriter Pete Waterman was paid an insulting $16. Total.
The song, which was played over 150 million times in 2008 alone, seems like it should have been a cash cow for the 62-year-old British producer and songwriter. Unfortunately, it was no such thing.
"There was I sitting at Christmas thinking, 'I must have made a few bob this year with the old Rickrolling'," he said.
"I rang my publisher and they said 'You'll be all right', until I saw the royalty statement. £11.
"If 154 million plays means £11, I get more from Radio Stoke playing Never Gonna Give You Up than I do from YouTube."
Waterman distressingly compares his plight to that of the unpaid workers in Dubai, which is insane (especially considering his net worth is somewhere around $100 million), but he brings up a very valid point. YouTube is awfully
profitable popular: Shouldn't the creators of their content be equitably paid?
YouTube insists they are working with PRS for Music, an organization dedicated to seeking fair compensation for artists, but that's of no use to Waterman.