SoundCloud Issued a Statement Regarding Concerns Over Copyright Claims

Image via SoundCloud
Image via SoundCloud

Late last week, we let you know about the many changes that went down with SoundCloud in June, from the announcement of their new cookie policy to what got a lot of people talking: the ability for Universal to seemingly take whatever they deem an infringement on their copyright from SoundCloud without SoundCloud knowing what happened. Just looking at the comments section on that post, a lot of questions have been raised, but getting SoundCloud to hit you back about things directly can be like trying to run through a brick wall—we’ve tried getting answers about many issues in the past, and have been left with unanswered emails. Color us surprised when we saw that Mixmag, who picked up on our story earlier this week, were hit directly with a statement on these issues. Here is what they received from SoundCloud regarding the questions surrounding copyright claims:

As a responsible hosting platform, we work hard to ensure that everyone’s rights are respected. In the case of rights holders, that means having processes in place to ensure that any content posted without authorisation is removed quickly and efficiently.

In the case of users, that means having separate processes in place to ensure that any content removed in error can be reinstated equally quickly. If any user believes that content has been removed in error – for example, because they had the necessary permissions from Universal Music and/or any other rights holder – then they are free to dispute the takedown.

Kind of what you’d expect from SoundCloud or any company in that situation, right? And for good or ill, they aren’t wrong: the changes they’ve made as a platform, especially when they make strides to become legit in the eyes of major record labels, are there to make sure that infringing works are taken down. It’s just part of the game, especially when you’re remixing works. Our concerns are still there, though, as it’s way too easy for Universal (or any other labels, possibly) to take down sounds without SoundCloud even being aware of it. The emails we posted in that previous piece essentially show SoundCloud holding up hands as if to say “#shrug,” but in the next breath pointing at you saying “it’s your fault.”

Maybe we just need more transparency. Or maybe we need to find a new platform. With the careers of many producers wrapped up in their SoundCloud accounts, we have a feeling this story is far from over.