SoundCloud WTF? Universal Has Direct Access To Pull Tracks Leading To Account Cancellations

SoundcloudNappy at Do Androids Dance? reveals more weirdness at SoundCloud beyond the new app tragedy. In fact, his post got me looking back at SoundCloud coverage and it's looking like 2014 is the year SoundCloud decided to kill its central spot in indie and DIY music. Among other things, Nappy shares emails that reveal that SoundCloud is allowing Universal direct access to takedown music with no screening by SoundCloud and that SoundCloud will close accounts on Universal's say so. Executive Summary: This is fucked up.

2014: The Year SoundCloud Betrayed Indie

Google fucking with indies on YouTube? No surprise to me at this point in their history though deeply disappointing.

But SoundCloud? No way!

Yes way.

At Do Androids Dance? back in January there was some interesting speculation regarding SoundCloud's business moves including the possibility of future data mining [and sales of data].

You can read the recent followup for more on the data mining issue but I'm just going to focus on the Universal has direct access to the backend issue.

We've Cancelled Your Account But We Can't Tell You Why

SubFM DJ Mr. Brainz, whose account now seems to be deleted, was warned by SoundCloud of impending deletion due to a 3 count violation.

Since he didn't have details on the violations he wrote back and got this in response from SoundCloud:

"Your uploads were removed directly by Universal. This means that SoundCloud had no control over it, and they don't tel us which part of your upload was infringing. If you look at your tracklist it may help you find the Universal content that they wanted blocked."

"The control of removing content is completely with Universal. This means I can't tell you why they removed your uploads and not others, and you would really need to ask them that question."

"I don't know what method they use to find infringing material unfortunately. their anti-pirecy team are based in the US."

So SoundCloud is giving Universal direct access to the backend and then cancelling accounts when Universal pulls enough stuff even though SoundCloud doesn't know why it was pulled.

How Kafkaesque!

There's more in the emails.

Updated Analysis: This is truly fucked up.

PS – SoundCloud has responded to the above allegations with some corporate bullshit pr.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) also blogs at DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. People don’t realize that this is how a lot of big companies work. They’ll infiltrate competition through bribery, manipulation, or they’ll just buy you outright and shut you down. Soundcloud poses a real threat to streaming services and the majors will do everything they can to make their product look #1.

  2. “In fact, his post got me looking back at SoundCloud coverage and it’s looking like 2014 is the year SoundCloud decided to kill its central spot in indie and DIY music.”
    Sad but true! And THANK YOU for keeping up the coverage on this death march, Clyde.

  3. #1 It doesnt sound so good, but maybe Soundcloud infringe quite a lot Universal artists and dont “dare” to not allowing thwm to do so? I dont see bribery or manipulation has something to do with this.

  4. It’s clear in SoundCloud terms that you must not upload other’s but only your own music, as the copyright owner. If you break the law, you’re out. I’ve seen many ‘uploaders’ who share full albums and songs which are normally sold in stores but these folks give pirated versions away via free downloads on SoundCloud. I’ve no time for reporting these idiots but it’s up to legal copyright holders to do so.

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