Entire Soundcloud accounts are now being forcibly taken down left and right.
Following the gradual installation of new rules, regulations, restrictions, and hindrances imposed by the streaming service during the last few months, it seems that they’ve decided to step it up several notches. DJ mixes with unlicensed material, tracks with unauthorized samples, and bootleg remixes that bear too strong a resemblance to the original are all being removed with speed and hostility.
Because of Soundcloud’s unprofitable history and subsequent alliance with major record labels and copyright organizations, the freedom and ability to experiment and create that made the site what it is are now being completely compromised by tit-for-tat licensing disagreements. Instead of maintaining a personal and genuine relationship with their vast network of dedicated users (despite the recent BS), they’ve begun to cower behind loose legal jargon and vague statements that seek to shift the blame somewhere else.
We can’t comment on specific rightsholders, but we’re happy to host any content on the platform as long as it’s properly authorised. If we’re told that any content has been posted without permission, we need to remove that content in accordance with applicable law.
We’ve also gotten word that Soundcloud is currently being attacked by a European collection agency. They are receiving reports against tracks that contain “copyrighted content for which publishing rights may not have been cleared in certain European territories.” If this message is received on an account, the holder is given a thin window of time to prove their ownership or legal access to the material. To do this, they must present evidence “that you or your company fully own all rights including publishing rights in all territories where the tracks have been made available and that you are NOT affiliated with any European collecting societies” or “that you or your company have cleared all publishing rights – including mechanical rights AND public performance rights – in all territories where the tracks have been made available.”
If the above proof cannot be shown within the allotted time frame, the account receives a strike. Three strikes and the account is removed.
Several major accounts have run into issues with the three-strike policy, as they claim the material that was flagged was entirely licensed to them. FACT Mag reported that London’s Radar Radio had their account terminated. Soundcloud’s eventual response was as follows:
SoundCloud have stated if we can persuade Sony to remove the objections then they will remove the strikes to restore and unlock our account. However, under instruction from Sony, SoundCloud are not allowed to tell us who to contact within the organisation. We have only ever uploaded music that Sony have sent us to promote, so it seems ridiculous that they would want to shut down our account and prevent us from supporting new music signed to their label in the future.
The result of this recent purge seems to be a disorganized mishmash of blame, unjustified takedowns, and a horrifying lack of clear communication between Soundcloud and its associated label sponsors. The ultimate effects of this disarray fall on the users, however. If there was ever a time to start searching for a new platform, it’s now. Read below for a first-hand reaction from artist JakK’D.
“For real… Our JakK’D profile was taken down today ( inserting 45 sad face emojis right now ). We get it, you guys suck now as a platform, you think everyone is on this copyright infringement tip, but lets think back to old school hiphop, old school house music, fuck even rock songs sample each other ( & don’t get me started on country; No offense, some of it I can stand, but that shits copied more than a machine at staples ). Lets be real for a second… If an artist wants to remix a song its the choice of the artist. If an artist wants to press charges for someone remixing without permission, that is a different story. But a lot of them take it as a compliment and love… Its the fat guys behind the scene who are angry. SoundCloud is choosing to delete all of these for one simple reason; They are dead broke, and lost touch with why they created the site in the first place. They are kissing the asses of Sony and Universal and so on in an attempt to keep themselves on the chart, but they are taking away form the people who got them there in the first place. They are so caught up in trying to get back on top and get out of debt that they don’t realize by doing this, they are losing millions of views, thousands of artists, and hundreds of random people looking for new music. Music as a business has changed so much over the past 15 years BECAUSE of the internet; & this, has its pros and cons. I remember going to Strawberry’s as a kid and scanning a CD and listening to it to see if I wanted to buy it, the internet wasn’t as advanced as it is now. Buying music back in the day was a fucking ADVENTURE. Get a ride to the mall, meet your friends, fuck around, scan CDs, pick some out, bump them until they got all scratched up and couldn’t be played anymore. That was awesome ( besides the fact you spent so much money ). But now, you can just sit in a chair in your PJs and stream, pirate, download, and still buy everything right at your computer… Songs are even sold for $1.99 even! To me, its lazy, but its how the world works now in this industry. I remember watching TRL and shit; Does anyone remember remixes back than? Diddy was on everything… Welcome to ATL and Touch it had EVERYONE on the remixes. Music was being mad because the love of the music. Now a days however, its almost impossible for an artists to be introduced to the game by just an original track; Everyone is remixing or making a dance off of something that is already out there, so they can get noticed by the world, so the world can hear what they really are about once they released their original music… Some artists even hold remix contests and shit to help get themselves noticed more and out there. The reason why SC is doing this is simple; There is no money to be made in just straight music anymore, and all these major labels are attacking platform based websites because of this. 90% of an artists income is from tours, merch, & collaborations with products and TV. So because of this, the big guys of the 1% are attacking all the little ones so they cant progress, so they can keep their yachts… What do I think is going to happen from this? Downfall, just like cassettes replacing records and MP3s replacing CDs. Sooner or later all these majors are going to attack everyone who even uses the same hi hat patterns or some shit. People are going to get sued so even just DJing a track. What do I think should happen to fix this? Major companies getting their heads out of their asses and realizing were all working to make art and give back to the public. I think a new form of ‘remixes’ or ‘edits’ should be allowed, but with rules; Not punished for being creative. Oh I remixed Kanye or Drake? BE HAPPY! That means someone loved your sheeps music so much they wanted to add their touch to it! They loved it so much they got a creative spark from it and ran with it. It’s pretty hard to remix All Day or Back 2 Back and call it your own, when clearly everyone knows who it came from… The only way the remixer is making a dime is by playing it in his set at a show or gig, or spitting a freestyle over the instrumental for a live audience. You see it on TV all the time… Family guy copying the Simpsons, or South Park copying movies… Bringing real life events into made up show; Everyone uses everything. So why with music is it suddenly becoming such a bad thing? It’s not like 1980 where you could rhyme simple things and play a simple riff and beat; We have to be advanced now because its all already been done. So instead of punishing us for being creative; Why not praise us? Why not give us some guidelines to follow so small artists can remix and bootleg? Why not allow sample based music to rise like it has been… Because I can promise this… If it doesn’t change, music is going to die.”