In recent times I have seen a great deal of talk regarding SoundCloud and their policy of copyright and taking tracks and mixes down. Most of this talk has been negative including a few open letters.
When SoundCloud first started as a Beta the idea was for it to be a community of artists and producers sharing their own original work. Its intention was never aimed at DJ’s and mixes. Saying that the DJ community embraced the platform and you could argue brought SoundCloud to the forefront. SoundCloud could have had the foresight and put a stop to it early on but chose not too. Why would they it was good for business?
As time went on more and more people signed up and purchased one of the plans to enable more minutes of upload space.
Here is where the problem starts. People are now paying for a service to upload what they want, right? Not exactly, as SoundCloud doesn’t pay any sort of license fee such as PRS no money is fed back to labels and artists like its does with radio or indeed MixCloud who do pay. This means ultimately its not deemed as a good thing by some labels (I am not going debate if it is or not just stating facts)
So some labels now request that if a song is uploaded and you do not own the rights it has to be taken down. I see a lot of people debating this point. Its good promotion for the artist, it generates sales etc. None of those comments are based on any actual facts and figures. It’s just a point of view right or wrong.
It does not change the fact that you do not own the rights and SoundCloud do not pay any sort of license fee you have no right to upload it. From an artist or labels perspective shouldn’t it be their choice if they want someone else to upload their work? Look at the Blurred Lines case, I see people up in arms that they had the audacity to be influenced by the Marvin song yet think noting of doing an edit or mix containing someone else’s work and uploading it to SoundCloud? Its DJ’s that created the SoundCloud copyright problem (at least in part by adopting a system outside of its original intention) and its DJ’s that constantly complaining about the service.
Ultimately SoundCloud should be paying a license fee like MixCloud do but that is looking unlikely. I suggest rather than complaining about the service move on and use a service that actually gives something back to the industry, label and artist.
I appreciate this will no doubt generate a discussion and many will disagree with me but I felt the need to put pen to paper on this.
Maybe a YouTube post might be in order next.