In Soundcloud’s Defense! | It’s the Industry, Not the Site

Stop. Just Stop.

I am not formally trained in music business law or copyright law. That being said; I know that when I sign a contract with a label that music is ostensibly and effectively theirs. Even further, labels usually contract distributors to release the music through various sites, stores, and other outlets. This is how the music industry has worked for many, many years. This is what is broken, not soundcloud.

I keep seeing people posting rants about soundcloud’s new content ID system. Just now, in fact, I am reading about Kaskade’s twitter semi-rant.  Apparently, 70% of his music (32 tracks) has been taken and that he expects the rest will go shortly.

If you go to Kaskade’s soudcloud, you might notice that all of what is there is DJ mixes and bootleg mash-ups. These might soon be taken down as well. Why?  Because, he doesn’t own them. That goes for your mixes, mash-ups, blends, and whatever the fucks. If it’s not yours, you can’t post it! Laws, not soundcloud.

If you go to Kaskade’s beatport page you will notice that he is almost, if not entirely, signed exclusively with Ultra. Ultra owns that music, unless he has some strange deal, which I doubt. This is why most of what has been taken down from his page are his official releases. The following will even further shed light on what is going on.

As of January 23, 2013, Ultra merged its operations with Sony Music in a deal that brought all of Ultra’s artists, music catalogs and licensing rights into the Sony fold in exchange for Sony’s investment in Ultra and promoting Moxey (who will retain ownership) to the newly established role as president of Sony’s Dance/Electronic Music division under CEO Doug Morris”.

Sony owns his music, or some other label. Not him. 

That’s the system being broken, not soundcloud.

The anger is misdirected at the middle man, when it should be at the old and broken industry model.

I personally have had two run-ins with the new auto system at soundcloud. One, was a remix I did that used the original vocals from another track. I was cleaerly at fault here, so I did not dispute the claim. The other was on a sample pack demo for a sample pack I was promoting on my site. I disputed the second one. I filled out the very short form explaining why I posted it and should be allowed to continue posting it. Literally, within hours the track was available to the public once again. I wrote more about it here.

I think people should be allowed to post DJ mixes and Mash-ups. I think it helps spread the music to a wider audience. I personally love it when I see my music has made it into someone’s mix or mash-up. But, getting all up-in-arms at soundcloud doing what it has to do is just not the way to make the change. If soundcloud doesn’t take down most of the music it takes down.. Sony will beat them to a pulp, then it’s no more soundcloud.

Let’s all take a step back and think about a better way to fix the problem.

I wonder if maybe verifying accounts to let artists share their own material would work?

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Author: Joshua Casper

Joshua Casper is an Artist, Musician, and Blogger.

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