SoundCloud Copyright Horror Stories
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard Paul Margiotis's Avatar
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    Default SoundCloud Copyright Horror Stories

    Hey everyone, new to the forums. I recorded a house mix a little more than a week ago which features some of my favorite tracks from 2014. I tried uploading it to SoundCloud, but it was immediately blocked because the first track, Super8 & Tab ft. Julie Thompson - Let Go (Going Deeper Remix), is copyrighted content. Here's what I've been going through.

    Immediately after uploading my mix to SoundCloud, I got an email stating that "Let Go" by Super8 & Tab is owned by Digital Distribution Estonia and that I should get their explicit permission to play the track and then forward the proof of authorization to SoundCloud. The mix was then taken down. I contacted Digital Distribution Estonia and they responded by telling me that they couldn't help me with the licensing, that they "just sell the music just like any other online shop," that "Digital Distribution Estonia is distributed by or is a regional sub-label of Universal Music," and that I should try contacting them.
    After filling out an Adaptation Translation Arrangement Request form and sending it to Universal Music, they told me that they do not control the publishing rights to the composition in question, and that I ought to search ASCAP and/or BMI to contact the publishers therein. After some navigation, I found the publisher.
    I sent an email to Kobalt Music Publishing explaining that I'd like permission to play one of their tracks in a mix, and that the only amendments made to the tune were slight adjustments in BPM and that some of the track was mixed in with another. I got a response with another form attached and they instructed me to fill it out. I did. I received an email this morning from a kind woman telling me that (1) she received the form, (2) that I filled it out correctly, (3) that it has been verified by their client representative, and (4) that I have to send them my mix which will then be assessed by the client. I'm waiting on verification.

    This has been a learning experience for me, but it has also been a long and tedious process. Do any of you have any similar stories to share? How often do you have to deal with copyright infringement charges on SoundCloud? What's your success rate in receiving permission to use a track when such charges came about?
    Last edited by Paul Margiotis; 01-08-2015 at 02:47 PM.
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  2. #2
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    I can't imagine the horrors of actually caring enough about my mix to go through all of this

    I just record a new one. Whatever. It has happened to me though.

  3. #3
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    Props to you for taking the time and effort to actually proceed with getting written permission. I'm interested to hear how things play out, good luck to you.

    Personally my mixes go to Mixcloud.com... the audience is smaller but I don't run into any of the headaches soundcloud seems to come with. Its too bad soundcloud cant get the same deals / usage as mixcloud users do.
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    Wow, I'm really surprised you went through all that. I just upload to Mixcloud now.
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru calgarc's Avatar
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    create an intro... i have a intro to my podcast about 30seconds give or take, that i play before i start my set. this has always been enough to get the soundcloud bots off my case. I also make sure the type is set to "podcast" in the settings.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru ImNotDedYet's Avatar
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    Don't get permission. Either find a song for the first song that isn't going to be from a major publishing label, create a short intro, effect the hell out of the intro of the first song.
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  7. #7
    Tech Wizard Paul Margiotis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwal View Post
    I can't imagine the horrors of actually caring enough about my mix to go through all of this

    I just record a new one. Whatever. It has happened to me though.
    Well, here's my rationale. I'm currently learning how to produce; I'm in the early stages of learning Ableton and the Push. In the meantime, I want to generate a following of people who enjoy the music I play and how I mix it so that when I finally release a track, it won't be in a vacuum. Additionally, I treat my podcasts with more care than I do my live sets. When I play live, which is rare these days, I experiment more and I just "go with the flow."
    On the other hand, a lot more time is spent into a mix that's recorded at home. These mixes are far from perfect, but I expect them to be of better quality because I have more time to plan them, structure them, I can re-do the mix if a mistake is made, etc. For this reason, I can't just let the mix go unheard; the process of contacting publishers and playing the waiting game is justified by the effort spent creating the art that I do.
    A (legal) workaround would be for me et al to stay clear of tracks that are signed onto popular record labels, like Spinnin Deep or mau5trap, and if a copyright dispute does arise, it'll be easier to handle since smaller record labels are more responsive, and I know this from experience, as this isn't the first copyright altercation I've had to deal with. Avoiding popular record labels ruins some of the fun, because it restricts myself, other DJs, and listeners. I may at times fail in these copyright disputes, but you can be certain that I'm putting up a good fight to expose others to what I believe to be quality music.
    "There are no two words more harmful in the English language than 'good job.'"
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  8. #8
    Tech Wizard Paul Margiotis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Meida View Post
    Props to you for taking the time and effort to actually proceed with getting written permission. I'm interested to hear how things play out, good luck to you.
    Thank you! I'm confident the track will be verified. Hopefully I won't run into anymore hurdles.

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Meida View Post
    Personally my mixes go to Mixcloud.com... the audience is smaller but I don't run into any of the headaches soundcloud seems to come with. Its too bad soundcloud cant get the same deals / usage as mixcloud users do.
    The problem with Mixcloud is that I feel I'm limited in exposure. I already have a decent following on SoundCloud and that will only grow if I put in the work. Plus, I just reinvested in a Pro account. If I make the shift to Mixcloud, I'll have to start from square one. I did upload the mix there and it hasn't received many hits and I haven't gained many followers. SoundCloud, in my opinion, is the way to go, but Mixcloud is likely the best alternative. Mixcloud supplements SoundCloud well but I wouldn't advise using it as a primary audio platform, but that's just me.
    "There are no two words more harmful in the English language than 'good job.'"
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  9. #9
    Tech Wizard Paul Margiotis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calgarc View Post
    create an intro... i have a intro to my podcast about 30seconds give or take, that i play before i start my set. this has always been enough to get the soundcloud bots off my case. I also make sure the type is set to "podcast" in the settings.
    Thanks for the words of wisdom. I would rather hire a professional to make an intro since if I made one it would sound like garbage. Can you or anyone else reading this point me in the right direction?
    "There are no two words more harmful in the English language than 'good job.'"
    Terence Fletcher, Whiplash

  10. #10
    Tech Guru ImNotDedYet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palmaro View Post
    Well, here's my rationale. I'm currently learning how to produce; I'm in the early stages of learning Ableton and the Push. In the meantime, I want to generate a following of people who enjoy the music I play and how I mix it so that when I finally release a track, it won't be in a vacuum. Additionally, I treat my podcasts with more care than I do my live sets. When I play live, which is rare these days, I experiment more and I just "go with the flow."
    On the other hand, a lot more time is spent into a mix that's recorded at home. These mixes are far from perfect, but I expect them to be of better quality because I have more time to plan them, structure them, I can re-do the mix if a mistake is made, etc. For this reason, I can't just let the mix go unheard; the process of contacting publishers and playing the waiting game is justified by the effort spent creating the art that I do.
    A (legal) workaround would be for me et al to stay clear of tracks that are signed onto popular record labels, like Spinnin Deep or mau5trap, and if a copyright dispute does arise, it'll be easier to handle since smaller record labels are more responsive, and I know this from experience, as this isn't the first copyright altercation I've had to deal with. Avoiding popular record labels ruins some of the fun, because it restricts myself, other DJs, and listeners. I may at times fail in these copyright disputes, but you can be certain that I'm putting up a good fight to expose others to what I believe to be quality music.
    You only have to avoid the major labels for the first song. After that, soundcloud's detection system can't pick up that a copyrighted song is mixed into and out of . Or, as I said, run some after effects for the first 15 - 30 seconds or so using something like Audacity and re-upload.
    2 x Technics 1210 MKII, Pioneer-DJM 900 Nexus, Traktor Scratch Pro, NI F1,
    Ableton Live 9.6 Suite, Ableton Push, Studio One 3, Moog Sub37, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Korg MS-20 Mini, Yamaha TG-77, TR-8, Rhodes MKI Stage, Wurlitzer 200a, couple pedals, couple amps, lots of software and a freakin iPad

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