You’ve already seen the articles flying around recently about Soundcloud taking a hard line on copyright infringement. We wanted to let you know what’s really happening out there, so you’re aware of the problem.
Soundcloud say you should always seek permission from the rights holder before you include it in a DJ mix and upload material. But as any DJ knows, it’s impossible to contact every label. Many will not even respond to Emails. Also many labels do not care and want their music to get as much exposure as possible.
If you want to know the real reason more accounts are being terminated, it’s because major music companies have registered their copyrights with Soundcloud. The musical data is embedded into Soundcloud’s copyright protection system. When it detects a match – it automatically flags the upload for copyright infringement and the user is served a takedown notice.
We’ve heard of multiple cases where Soundcloud has issued takedown notices in error. Often they’re being served to artists uploading their own original tracks containing their own sounds. Soundcloud’s copyright system often detects a similar sound it believes is copyrighted (under a registered track that’s been registered) and blocks the upload.
Now you’d be forgiven for thinking that Soundcloud is trying to be responsible and protect the interests of rights holders, but the situation actually goes much deeper…
We’ve been told that Soundcloud are not paying royalties to performance rights societies. We understand Soundcloud are locked in to high level negotiations about this matter. So could this be the reason majors are blocking their music and why more accounts are being terminated for copyright infringement?
Many DJs and artists have used the platform for years, paying their subscriptions, promoting the platform and amassing thousands of fans. It’s pretty crazy to think that all this hard work and money spent can be lost with a click of mouse.
Right now, DJs are playing Russian roulette with their accounts when they upload a mix. It could be the track you least expect that terminates your account and makes you lose all your followers. If Jody Wisternoff can get banned then it can happen to anyone.
We want to make it clear that we’re not ‘anti Soundcloud‘. In fact, we believe Soundcloud is the best way to share music on the internet and reach a new audience. Our concerns here stems from the fact Soundcloud are not giving their users the tools to check what content is on their banned list. Plus they’ve been receiving user subscriptions, but not paying anything to publishing rights organisations.
We need to join together as a community and let each other know which labels are restricting uploads, this way – DJs etc… can better safeguard their account until this royalty war is over. We may see Soundcloud being acquired in the non too distant future. Or them starting to serve ads, to help pay performance royalties.
One thing’s for sure: people need to be aware of what’s happening and get smart. The harsh reality is, all your years of hard work could be down the drain in minutes and Soundcloud will make no apology when they terminate your account. Nor will they reinstate it or refund you for any subscriptions.
Disclaimer: we have no problems with any label or rights holder that has restricted the use of it’s content on Soundcloud. This is not a name and shame exercise. Labels and publishing companies have the right to exercise their copyright however they see fit. All the information contained in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge however we cannot guarantee it’s accuracy. If you believe anything we have reported to be incorrect, then please let us know and we will correct it immediately.