Before Agreeing To Soundcloud’s Terms And Conditions, Read The Fine Print

image from a2im.orgfrom AIM via the A2IM blog.

When putting tracks up on Soundcloud, you should strongly consider turning API access off. If you do not do this, you are granting not only Soundcloud a royalty free licence to use your recordings, but also anyone else who uses their API and/or links to your recordings (eg internet radio stations, remix services or other music apps).

Soundcloud’s terms and conditions HERE. The relevant parts are are “Representations and Warranties”, and “Linked Services” under “Grant of Licence”.

As a Soundcloud user, you have already warranted to Soundcloud that you control all rights when using the service. This means that publishing, which you may not control, is also included in this royalty free license for onward usage. User uploads are also covered by this, so if third parties are uploading your recordings, they are also passing on a free license to other sites and services beyond Soundcloud, which effectively creates an ecosystem of royalty free usage for your music.

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  1. Where is the setting to turn API access off? I’m reading and searching all over the soundcloud site and can’t seem to find it.

  2. As far as I know, JJ, you have to turn it off on each sound/song that you post. Click the edit (pencil) button and go to the Permissions tab. There, you can uncheck “enable app playback”. Keep in mind that this will disable playing on some mobile devices/browsers that don’t use the native SoundCloud player.
    If hypebot meant something else, they’ll have to let us know.

  3. If you disable the API access for all of your music you will be missing out on the whole point of Soundcloud, to spread the reach of your music to as many people as possible. It’s not just about going to soundcloud.com or using their app.
    For instance I recently launched the beta web version of gigawatt.fm (mobile apps coming soon) the purpose of which is to promote artists who are touring by allowing you to listen to their music based on gigs in your city. You can discover new artists and then go to see them live. The music comes from various streaming sources including Soundcloud.
    If you completely disable the API access then you do not get your music into apps like these, many of which have been created for your benefit.

  4. Good point, Feargal. And how does this affect all the blogs that might include a Soundcloud link when reviewing songs?

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