Dear SoundCloud, Please Stop Ruining Music. Signed, an Artist You Just Removed.

soundcloudripped

The following comes from JakK’D, a DJ duo from New England that just had their SoundCloud page removed after multiple warnings.

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For real… Our JakK’D profile was taken down today ( inserting 45 sad face emojis right now ). We get it, you guys suck now as a platform, you think everyone is on this copyright infringement tip, but lets think back to old school hiphop, old school house music, fuck even rock songs sample each other ( & don’t get me started on country; No offense, some of it I can stand, but that shits copied more than a machine at staples ).

Lets be real for a second… If an artist wants to remix a song its the choice of the artist. If an artist wants to press charges for someone remixing without permission, that is a different story. But a lot of them take it as a compliment and love… Its the fat guys behind the scene who are angry.

SoundCloud is choosing to delete all of these for one simple reason; They are dead broke, and lost touch with why they created the site in the first place.  They are kissing the asses of Sony and Universal and so on in an attempt to keep themselves on the chart, but they are taking away form the people who got them there in the first place.  They are so caught up in trying to get back on top and get out of debt that they don’t realize by doing this, they are losing millions of views, thousands of artists, and hundreds of random people looking for new music.

Music as a business has changed so much over the past 15 years BECAUSE of the internet; & this, has its pros and cons.  I remember going to Strawberry’s as a kid and scanning a CD and listening to it to see if I wanted to buy it, the internet wasn’t as advanced as it is now.  Buying music back in the day was a fucking ADVENTURE.  Get a ride to the mall, meet your friends, fuck around, scan CDs, pick some out, bump them until they got all scratched up and couldn’t be played anymore.  That was awesome ( besides the fact you spent so much money ).

But now, you can just sit in a chair in your PJs and stream, pirate, download, and still buy everything right at your computer… Songs are even sold for $1.99 even!  To me, its lazy, but its how the world works now in this industry.  I remember watching TRL and shit; Does anyone remember remixes back than?  Diddy was on everything… Welcome to ATL and Touch it had EVERYONE on the remixes.  Music was being mad because the love of the music.

Now a days however, its almost impossible for an artists to be introduced to the game by just an original track; Everyone is remixing or making a dance off of something that is already out there, so they can get noticed by the world, so the world can hear what they really are about once they released their original music… Some artists even hold remix contests and shit to help get themselves noticed more and out there.

The reason why SC is doing this is simple; There is no money to be made in just straight music anymore, and all these major labels are attacking platform based websites because of this.

90% of an artists income is from tours, merch, & collaborations with products and TV. So because of this, the big guys of the 1% are attacking all the little ones so they cant progress, so they can keep their yachts…

What do I think is going to happen from this?  Downfall, just like cassettes replacing records and MP3s replacing CDs.  Sooner or later all these majors are going to attack everyone who even uses the same hi hat patterns or some shit.  People are going to get sued so even just DJing a track.

What do I think should happen to fix this?  Major companies getting their heads out of their asses and realizing were all working to make art and give back to the public.  I think a new form of ‘remixes’ or ‘edits’ should be allowed, but with rules; Not punished for being creative.  Oh I remixed Kanye or Drake?  BE HAPPY!  That means someone loved your sheeps music so much they wanted to add their touch to it!  They loved it so much they got a creative spark from it and ran with it.  It’s pretty hard to remix All Day or Back 2 Back and call it your own, when clearly everyone knows who it came from…

The only way the remixer is making a dime is by playing it in his set at a show or gig, or spitting a freestyle over the instrumental for a live audience.  You see it on TV all the time… Family guy copying the Simpsons, or South Park copying movies… Bringing real life events into made up show; Everyone uses everything. So why with music is it suddenly becoming such a bad thing?

It’s not like 1980 where you could rhyme simple things and play a simple riff and beat; We have to be advanced now because its all already been done.  So instead of punishing us for being creative; Why not praise us?  Why not give us some guidelines to follow so small artists can remix and bootleg?  Why not allow sample based music to rise like it has been…

Because I can promise this… If it doesn’t change, music is going to die.

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38 Responses

  1. So-2003-argument

    “90% of an artists income is from tours, merch, & collaborations with products and TV. “

    Dear whiny entitled DJ. It’s 2015. Even 15-year old kids have stopped using this argument.
    Pay your dues like everyone else on earth. Artists are not your fucking slaves.

    Reply
  2. Hilarious!

    Reads like a pirate bay response to copyright infringement. Artists only make money from tours and merch because of infringement….

    Reply
  3. Um...

    >>>If an artist wants to press charges for someone remixing without permission

    So far as I know, no one has ever pressed charges for anything remotely related to remixing. They’ve threatened, or occasionally filed, civil suits.

    Reply
  4. Um...

    >>>If an artist wants to press charges for someone remixing without permission

    So far as I know, no one has ever pressed charges for anything remotely related to remixing. They’ve threatened, or occasionally filed, civil suits.

    Your,

    DJ JD

    Reply
  5. Menan

    This is a pointless article. It’s like shooting the messenger. Instead of going after Soundcloud, you should go after the labels because Soundcloud has no say in this.

    Reply
  6. Me2

    I dunno. To me, ‘Straight up music’ is stuff that you write or perform yourself. I get that sampling is a staple of many styles, but without permission this is still infringing content, which is all I think Soundcloud is trying to remove.

    Back in the day, studios were expensive. Now that this barrier is lowered, it really is down to the chops. If you have them, try making something from scratch and I promise that music won’t die.

    Reply
  7. Paul Resnikoff
    Paul Resnikoff

    I think there are real criticisms to be made against this post, but there are definitely better solutions I think than just smashing accounts. For example, why not license samples in a more effective way, especially for rights owners that want to get paid on samples or remixes? I’d imagine that Soundcloud is working on a blanket payout system that would cover most remixes, with takedowns for those that don’t want to be a part of it. YouTube certainly moved in that direction, though not specifically on sample splices that I’m aware of.

    There’s a company called DubSet Media you might also want to check out, they’re working on creating a marketplace for exactly this issue, both by identifying remixed tracks, and creating a way to pay those rights owners properly.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      That sounds like a good idea, SoundCloud offering blanket licensing/payouts within their ecosystem. It might make things more attractive and easy for artists who sample.

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        SoundCloud is all about innovation right? Well, what about innovating in the rights licensing space? After all, their growth surge is heavily tied to EDM, which is heavily tied to remixing and sampling. Why should the innovations only include accessibility, sharing, and ease-of-use? The labels aren’t innovating, they never have, and that’s why they’re bringing a giant hammer to the table. Why not show them a better way?

        Reply
        • jr

          Before anyone can fix the music industry it might be nice to understand the legalities involved. There is a massive gap between allowing your music to be heard – to allowing it to be remixed – or even altered or the creation of a derivative track and by whom, there are publishing and master rights involved and some bands will not stand for any of it, others will but they should be the ones deciding.

          While streamlining a licensing process is do-able it must be done at the label or even individual level. Not all bands have the same control. The folks who have been making re-mixes using others’ work are the ones that need to do the clearances not soundcloud as it would only cover its services an no others and put it in a legal bind if that track was then used elsewhere. No, folks need to have respect for music and that respect should start between musicians. Clearly that is not happening.

          Reply
  8. GGG

    ….I mean, I don’t disagree with his overall point to a degree, but saying all music is going to die because you can’t just freely sample all the music you want is so dumb, and one reason people often can’t stand DJs..

    Reply
  9. Trickness

    Here’s the thing: neither this artist, nor Soundcloud get to decide how the copyright of another artist is used. The original artist recorded the track, did a deal with someone and got money for giving them exclusive rights. You want to remix something and post it for the betterment of your own career, then ASK. Copyright doesn’t go out the window just because you want to be famous, or because the labels are not “innovating”.

    Soundcloud got warnings about infringement, and warned this act, multiple times it seems. The labels invest in copyright and want to protect their investment. There’s certainly room for new ways to use copyright. But the simple fact is the labels still invest in copyright, in a time when everyone is saying music is worth little or nothing. If you use their shit without asking, eventually you’re going to get called on it. And Soundcloud doesn’t want to be Grooveshark or Limewire.

    You can say the labels are lame for doing this, but whining about being called out on this is just as lame.

    One question Paul – did this act ask permission from any of the artists he remix? Did he even try to ask? That little detail is missing from this piece.

    Reply
  10. rikki

    Are any black artists being banned? the RIAA never sued anyone black for copyright infringement…so has soundcloud only gone after only white people?

    inquiring minds want to know!

    Reply
  11. D'Michael

    I’m pretty sure the people would get a simple e-mail stating that they don’t have the right to use content from that specific artist. They probably ignored the e-mail (chances are they don’t even check their e-mails) and SC pulled the plug.

    Reply
  12. Tamsin Jones

    What a stupid thing to say. Of course music isn’t going to die. While people can still put notes and chords and words together for themselves there will always be music.

    Reply
  13. DaveB

    Unfortunately, SC is f*cked cos they didn’t understand and the companies are after them like they were with Grooveshark. Legit artists uploading original content (not remixes and sampled stuff) will be f*cked along with the company. It’s doomed. It will be gone before Xmas.

    Reply
  14. Anon

    His argument seems to be the equivalent of saying someone who is raped should take it as a compliment.

    It’d be interesting if you could tuck all of these remixes/derivatives behind a paid tier, and give the original copyright owners a piece of the income based on a % of use. It’d require a LOT of effort from SC but it’s enable remixes/Dj sets to remain which it should try its best to do as that is really where SC got its start.

    Reply
    • Sarah

      Honestly, it’d require some thinking through …. but it would not require “a LOT” of effort from SC. Devising and implementing a system that does this isn’t overly challenging. The challenging (possibly impossible) problem would be getting the labels to agree to any of it – it’d take years to get them to agree on the methods used, the percentages, etc.

      Reply
  15. Michael

    Music may die. One thing is sure though, as long as I’m here I will be playing music every day. Nuff said.

    Reply
    • Well...

      Sure you can play music for your own, but if you cover, remix or mix your music you won’t have any public listeners anymore! And to cover, remix and mix music is the way how music getting popular the last 5 years! A lot of remixes were getting more popular than the original tracks, and now guess on which platform there were released first!? Kygo, Felix Jaehn, Wankelmut, Filou etc, etc! This SC development will stop that innovative movement forever and that is the sad part for semi professionel, but creative and motivated producers around the globe! SC were the reason why these musician are signed now!

      Reply
  16. carlos

    if you want to use something that doesn’t belong to you, you need to ask for permission.

    I will go to your house and use everything in it, and you will make me coffee while I’m at it. sounds good to you?

    asking for a license is not difficult, you either get a yes or no on a master, right?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Correct, in theory.

      In practice, if someone is just remixing something for fun with his friends, then the process of getting a license is unduly burdensome in many cases. Licensing is made more complicated than it should be by confusing, time-consuming processes. Commercial entities will put up with that because they have to, but (as with everything that’s excessively inconvenient) consumers won’t and don’t put up with it: instead of properly obtaining a license, they ignore it and just do what they want because it’s so much easier. The people on SC are really consumers, and they need to be treated accordingly even in matters like licensing (perhaps especially).

      It should just be an easy click or two of a button to request a license: we want to encourage proper licensing, and that means – above all else – making it easy for people to license songs. This is a huge problem that has received no where near sufficient attention.

      Reply
    • Tim Wood

      +1 for making licensing easier. Harry Fox began addressing this some years ago, but it’s not nearly easy enough.

      Dark thought: Publishers and labels don’t want uniform and easier licensing; they want the chance to twist the balls of everyone who wants to use their music, in a 1-on-1 contract.

      Reply
  17. soundcloud zombie

    Hey! sorry for my poor English
    A chief cook do not pay royalties for the use all products that god created.Create a mix remains a work ,you spend time and you need more imagination than the label music because you are alone for this work.
    Dj increases the fame of the artists and they are treated like thieves ,pirate.Who chooses the songs in night club ?I find that Djs are much more powerful than they think.I ‘m in the same case like ” JakK’D ” My account is closed and i lost more than 1000 followers , iI built strong ties and collabs.
    But….the adventure continues Djedi vs Darth Soundcloudious.

    Reply
    • Sarah

      Oh, dear.. I understand what you are trying to say, but you are incorrect.

      Beef, trout, tomatoes, asparagus, olive oil, potatoes, kale, balsamic vinegar …. when chefs cook with these things, it is only after someone first purchased them from the people who make, raise, and grow them. Being a great chef does not entitle one to free ingredients. Please, if you disagree: go find a chef and ask the chef if he is able to go into the grocery store and take whatever he wants to use without paying because he’s going to turn those ingredients into something delicious.

      This is the same in all things: a great painter is not allowed to steal paint or canvas. A great architect or interior designer is not allowed to steal beams or fabric.

      The difference is that, for some reason, you believe that DJs – unlike chefs, painters, architects, designers, or any other person that uses another’s materials to create something – should not have to pay for your raw ingredients.

      You argue that “DJs increase the fame of the artists” – if your argument is correct, then the artists benefit from your use of their music. If that is, in fact, the case, here is what will happen: artists will choose to allow you to mix their music, because they benefit from it.

      It is not for YOU to decide whether an artist will benefit from your use of his work: it is his work, and therefore his right to decide and grant (or not grant) permission.

      You claim you put time and imagination into your work, and that your work has value. Perhaps that is true.

      But the artists whose work you use also put time and effort into their own work, and believe that their own work has value. When you use that work without permission, without respecting their ownership, you disrespect them – and then, in the next breath, wonder why the artist doesn’t respect you for your work.

      The artist you steal from doesn’t respect you or your work, because you disrespect the artist and his work.

      To get respect, you must first give it.

      Reply
  18. Versus

    Of course you can re-use, sample, remix – with permission and paying. As it should be.
    Do you expect to get paid when you DJ?
    Music creators similarly expect to be paid for their work. Is that too much got ask?

    Reply
  19. Matt

    Is this site now a forum for entitled whiners that can’t do whatever they want? In fact, that should be the subject of this post, Entitled Whiners. You do NOT have the right to do whatever you feel like with something another artist creates. Did you ever consider that the artist might not like what you do with your mixes? Maybe they are terrible or there is just differing tastes. Regardless, you are not entitled to just use whatever you feel like, although you obviously feel that way.

    The alteration of a recording should and often does require permission of the artist. Even if the labels decided this was an amazing new revenue source that they wanted to tackle it wouldn’t necessarily matter. There are plenty of artists out there that have found remixed versions of their recordings that they hate and they likely wouldn’t want to offer up blanket rights so any crap DJ can make their music sound worse.

    The argument that labels don’t value DJ’s and their influence in the clubs…yeah, that’s probably correct, but only because the value is ACTUALLY very small in comparison to other things. Drake and Eminem don’t need your freaking help to get their music out…for free. It’s YOU that obviously need their help since your only apparent talent is spring-boarding off the creativity of others.

    Stop feeling entitled. Stop stealing. Stop thinking you are the creative one. Stop whining. Just stop.

    Reply
  20. JeffC

    The whole “DJ as artist” thing was always as thin as crepe paper to begin with.
    I HAVE seen some talented DJs, going all the way back to the early 80s, but they did not pretend to be something they were not. This “plea’ is pathetic and really does not deserve ANY press or notice at all.
    Too late for that.
    And…. Sigh. Looks like SC will be playing whack-a-mole with these clowns:
    “We’re back up. Music will be uploaded soon, but follow us first!”
    https://soundcloud.com/jakkdmusic

    Reply
  21. ann

    Paul, this is hardly worth publishing. Surely if you want to pub something about Soundcloud it could be a more rational (better punctuated?) offering.

    Reply
  22. Tim Wood

    Most telling line: “It’s all been done.”

    Exactly. Quit and go sell insurance.

    Reply
  23. soundcloud zombie

    @Sarah, thank you for your answer and i agree with you , we could debate several hours about this subject
    @Matt , thank you !, i forgot ,Dj are also Whiners , if you answered so hard is that i hurt you, I’m sorry

    Reply
  24. Heiko Schmidt

    The argument sounds popular and is used in the chinese culture to satisfy the copy of music, top technology and infringement of Trade Marks and Patents. If you like the music so much and want to mix it up with many other samples, you violate federal law if you make that publicly available without the permission of all rights holders involved.
    That is not about the fat guys sitting in the back. That is the respect for the creative work we have developed in our societies and the understanding, that someones work can’t be hijacked. How about you create a song and someone else is using it for a commercial for an alcoholic beverage. You are against alcohol use but can’t do anything about it…or let’s say a political candidate is using your music for his campaign and you are for his opponent.
    Lawmakers around the world made this law on a constitutional level (in most countries). Because they have understood without protecting intellectual property rights and the creators involved, there is no society and no business for creative people.
    I’m talking the songwriters, producers who can’t tour, sell merch to finance a living. How they will survive ?
    And if they don’t, who is writing and producing music ? Everyone in for free ?
    ….yes, it’s very popular shouting “free beer for everyone”. There was a political party in Germany who had a few percent votes behind them called the “Pirate Party”. And eventually, in a democratic system, the majority of people have decided not to vote for them, not because they don’t like free drinks, because of the respect and the economic importance of copyright protection for every developed society.

    Reply
  25. Heiko Schmidt

    The argument sounds popular and is used in the chinese culture to satisfy the copy of music, top technology and infringement of Trade Marks and Patents. If you like the music so much and want to mix it up with many other samples, you violate federal law if you make that publicly available without the permission of all rights holders involved.
    That is not about the fat guys sitting in the back. That is the respect for the creative work we have developed in our societies and the understanding, that someones work can’t be hijacked. How about you create a song and someone else is using it for a commercial for an alcoholic beverage. You are against alcohol use but can’t do anything about it…or let’s say a political candidate is using your music for his campaign and you are for his opponent. Sure you wouldn’t like it.
    Lawmakers around the world made this law on a constitutional level (in most countries). Because they have understood without protecting intellectual property rights and the creators involved, there is no society and no business for creative people.
    I’m talking about the songwriters, producers who can’t tour, sell merch to finance a living. How they will survive ?
    And if they don’t, who is writing and producing music ? Everyone in for free ? Then let’s steal parts of a software code and mix it up with other stolen parts to create something new…
    ….yes, it’s very popular shouting “free beer for everyone”. There was a political party in Germany who had a few percent votes behind them called the “Pirate Party”. And eventually, in a democratic system, the majority of people have decided not to vote for them, not because they don’t like free drinks, because of the respect and the economic importance of copyright protection for every developed society.

    Reply
  26. Kevin Wyatt

    A copyright owners’ ability to control use of their intellectual property should be absolute. Full stop.

    That said I believe many if not most copyright owners appreciate remix culture’s potential to add value to the works they own and would embrace an ecosystem that properly accounts for these uses – so long as they had a say in which derivative works are made available.

    I am optimistic in my belief that we are inching toward a solution. Companies like DubSet are focused on the rights management portion, and while I am not aware of a platform that facilitates rights-holder approval of derivative works the core tech components e.g. ContentID are in place and could be adapted for this use with additional development.

    The music industry benefits from fan engagement in all its forms including hobbyist-created derivative works, which are the aural equivalent of fan fiction. If we can strike the right balance between embracing this aspect of the culture and maintaining rightsholders’ ultimate control over how their IP is exploited, we’ll be better off.

    Reply
  27. Esol Esek

    I’ve been sampling for 20 years. I’ve also been playing instruments longer than that. If you can’t make your own music without sampling the sweat of others (noticeably), then get out. I really don’t care what your excuse is, or your bs arguments about freedom. The bomb squad can make their samples undetectable, then so can you. And if you can’t, then you can take that unique sample that came from shortening the original into something brand new, and guess what, you can re-record it or reconstruct it using a band or software. Face it, you’re hacks.

    SO tired of the theft generation, and the stupid rationalizing, instead of just doing the work. I know lots of short cutters, and most get nowhere. Doesnt mean I love record companies for sitting on the publishing of greats who signed bad deals, but that’s a much different issue that little jerks stealing other people’s work. Buh bye.

    Reply
  28. DJDJ

    Doesn’t TheFuture.FM allow for mixes and DJ samples that comply and pay the artists?

    Reply
  29. dosbe...

    I think the hater-commenters are missing a bunch of extremely valid points in this post. What soundcloud is doing due to monetary pressure is going to fuck over a huge amount of really creative musicians…

    Reply

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