Soundcloud has been developing quite a draconian reputation of late, with users complaining that their files are being deleted and accounts shut down. But this has just taken a sinister Big Brother-ish turn — it seems that Soundcloud has handed over the keys to the streaming kingdom and lets Universal Records delete what it wants, when it wants, and without recourse to the end user or Soundcloud.
SubFM DJ Mr. Brainz has been doing what so many DJs do and uploading his sets to Souncloud, and of course has incurred a couple of strikes on his account. On his third strike, he wrote to Soundcloud to find out what had happened. The reply is nothing short of scary for DJs, nay everyone:
It seems that Soundcloud has given the big labels the ability to shut down accounts and remove content without notice and without reason. So if you’ve paid cold hard cash for your account, then you’re shit out out of luck. Soundcloud are effectively sticking their fingers in their ears and pointing at someone else.
Now… uploading copyright infringing audio to Soundcloud is essentially bound to incur the wrath of the label, artist, or hosting platform. This I’m absolutely fine with, and wouldn’t expect anything else. But giving that level of access to a label is bang out of order, especially when someone has paid for a service. If it’s such an issue, then Universal should make it a legal issue and send a cease and desist letter, or leave it in the hands of Soundcloud. It’s the digital equivalent of vigilante justice, and carries the chance of being dished out in error too. It happens on Youtube all the time.
And what of the rest of the mix? What right does Universal have to shut down all the other potentially non-infringing music that’s in the mix? For me, it’s a complete cop-out from Soundcloud who would rather sit back and let the big boys dish out rough justice.
I smell a class action lawsuit brewing to be honest. Mr. Brainz should expect his stuff to be taken down, but by Soundcloud, and only after a final warning. Letting a third party do it feels untruly wrong. Consider a big can of worms well and truly opened.
Source: Digital Vertigo