Hey Kaskade, You Aren’t Special

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SoundCloud is in the middle of another giant wave of removals, and those that are uploading unofficial remixes are feeling the burn. They’re getting copyright notifications, accounts are being flagged, and records are getting removed at a breakneck pace. I’m sitting here saying “I told you so,” but we’re just bloggers, right? Our words aren’t without merit, as outside of our platform I have had logins to several high-traffic accounts that have generated more than 50 million plays, and have been navigating copyright issues with this platform for the past two years.

The rules are simple. If you don’t have permission from those you sample, you are in direct violation of SoundCloud’s Terms of Service. As they lock in partnerships with more labels, SoundCloud will continue to remove audio that violates their rules.  We spoke on this several months ago, saying that their removal technology would only get better, and that anyone hinging uncleared content to iTunes or Beatport runs the risk of getting sued.

Kaskade recently had 70% of his content removed from his SoundCloud page, but he should be happy that his account wasn’t deleted. The rule of thumb is that three flags on your account is grounds for termination, and he dodged the bullet of complete loss of his fan base.  If he checked his Twitter notifications, he wouldn’t be surprised. We watched as Henrix responded to Kaskade back in January saying that his account got deleted because of mashups, and Kaskade himself spoke on SoundCloud removing records from his account:


There are several solutions. Kaskade’s management can reach out to those that he sampled to get thumbs up for use and upload, and those records will be restored. SoundCloud is more than accommodating when you have permission, and generally answer emails within 24 hours.  Kaskade can also simply stop using samples or creating unofficial remixes, as hosting sounds that you don’t have permission to use is against SoundCloud’s Terms Of Service. Reinstating records that might have been blocked due to automatic detection from a label that you’re signed to, or sounds that have been wrongly flagged is incredibly easy.

Kaskade spoke on hosting these tunes elsewhere, and as he’s generated a huge fan base by evading copyright standards, he will have no problems whatsoever pulling his audience to wherever he wishes to place his content. Surely, unofficial remixes are still violations of copyright, but hosting these sounds on platforms that aren’t obligated by labels to remove records that they aren’t giving approval to host doesn’t seem to be problematic yet.

All said, though most artists blame the platform instead of realizing that they shouldn’t have ever uploaded the records in the first pleace, SoundCloud surely should have a rapport with the top 1% of accounts, and really could have taken the time to explain all of the above to sweep all of this under the carpet. They have a user with more than three quarters of a million followers that’s upset, and that certainly doesn’t make much sense.

All told, everyone on SoundCloud is held to the same standards, and a public cry or complaint when you’re making tens of thousands of dollars a show is simply silly. If Kaskade strayed from the terms of service in order to generate a fan base and plays, he should be glad that his account still exists.  

EDIT It’s looking like the issue (or at least some of the issue) is due to tracks Kaskade might have uploaded that he put out with Ultra. Neither side have spoken about it outside of the below tweet, but that doesn’t negate the concept of whitelisting when it comes to producers and record labels operating on SoundCloud.


  • Jenny Carr

    “Are words aren’t without merit” Your editors are.

    • facepalm


  • KA

    Kaskade’s tracks were taken down because he was incorrectly penalized for posting his own tracks that he had signed to Ultra Records. My source is an executive at SoundCloud. Therefore, this entire article is completely false and makes Kaskade unfairly look like a jerk. He has every right to post his own signed tracks. Ultra Records even tweeted an apology directly to Kaskade claiming responsibility. Do some research and call someone who might know the whole story before you go around incorrectly ripping artists up for clickbait purposes.

    • Michael DjNappy Abernathy

      If the records are cleared with Ultra, all his management has to do is provide that clearance. His Lana Del Ray “Young And Beautiful” remix, and Katy Perry “Wide Awake” Remix were free downloads that weren’t released through labels. Again, if he has permission all his management needs to do is contact soundcloud to get the tunes reinstated.

    • Michael DjNappy Abernathy

      love when artists back the shit we say 2 days after we say it. http://doandroidsdance.com/news/kaskade-speaks-on-soundcloud-removals/

    • Dicksancho

      Agreed. Pretty pompous article for a website that barely makes the top 10,000 in the US for traffic.

      • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

        FWIW, we never said that we were that special. And truth be told, the actual point of the article is about how SoundCloud is targeting EVERYONE when it comes to DCMA claims. Just saying.

  • Jarvis

    Bootleg remixes are one of the best things about the internet in my opinion and soundcloud’s nazi approach to removing them is entirely un-called for and helps nobody. Uploading someone elses track and enabling it for free download is entirely different to uploading a bootleg remix which an artist has spent hours on and barely resembles the original in any way. If anybody would wish to make bootleg remixes of my tracks then that’s fine by me it only helps to increase exposure to my brand.

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      We’re in agreement, especially in today’s scene, where a lot of producers get their shine on due to remixing works. SoundCloud are tightening their belts, and with recording industry paws on them even more these days, it will only get tighter.

    • JohnnieBräts

      it’s what made me a SoundCloud junkie. I favor it over all other platforms. I don’t know what I’m going to do if we can’t get around these issues

  • The Peacemaker

    bootlegs and mashups are what made soundcloud popular.
    If soundcloud cracks down on this then they will surely go downhill like myspace.

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      I don’t think it’s a matter of “if” – we’ve received message from producers and remixers over the last week about accounts being taken. In conversation, they revealed that they had a number of unofficial remixes on their page(s).

  • Kyle McComb

    SoundCloud IS the place for unofficial mashups, bootlegs, remixes. If you think DJs should stop doing that, go to hell. If you think DJs WILL stop doing that, then you’re obviously not familiar with EDM culture (I use the term to mean all electronic music, past and present).

    EDM artists, both beginning and established, are always going to want to remix, sample, adapt, and mashup. It’s part of what defines electronic music. If SoundCloud can no longer foster that, then people will move to a different platform, I promise.

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      IS or WAS? I’m not saying you’re wrong, but like anything, it feels like what SC’s used for is changing.

      • Kyle McComb

        Yeah, it is changing… I just worry where producers are going to go, there’s nothing else out there quite like SoundCloud…

        • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

          And therein lies our concern. So much gets wrapped up into one’s SoundCloud account that it can be very easy to lose it, and thus your progress.

          • Kyle McComb

            Amen. I understand copyright law, but I’m still going to be furious if my bootlegs get taken down haha

  • Gregsta

    I can’t believe the stupidity I just read… please never let this moron write for a website ever again. Thanks.

  • Marc

    muzyka to wolność… soundcloud zabija tę najcenniejszą wartość

  • Pingback: Soundcloud Vs. DJs | A Digital Debacle |

  • Jeff

    Wow, Ultra Music
    is so concerned about people using their “producers” music on
    Soundcloud.com they are puling tracks down from aspiring producers and
    dj’s who remix or use their tracks in a mix set, but I just ran into
    this. They are actively recruiting
    unsigned artists to ghost produce for their producers. Saw this on
    reverbnation.com opportunities section. SMH. Read the last line:

    “What To Submit:

    Ultra Music is looking for deep house and melodic house, as well as
    house with a disco / nu-disco feel, or anything that is unique in its
    Songs in the range of 115 – 130 bpm which could be
    reproduced and remixed by producers on Ultra, and be turned into
    original songs.”