Kaskade: “Sharing Helps the Artist, the Fan, and the Music Industry”

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Kakade recently took to his blog to explain a series of tweets he sent about deleting his SoundCloud account. 70 percent of his tracks have been taken down by SoundCloud, and he will now be creating his own platform (kind of like deadmau5).

Some of the deleted tracks were signed over to Ultra, and are now owned by Sony. Kaskade says he is authorized to post those on his account. The other deleted tracks were mashups. Kaskade knows that he legally can’t post these mashups, but he thinks he should be able to.

Here’s an excerpt of Kaskade’s blog post, in which he explains his philosophy on mashups and music sharing in general.

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There’s always been this cagey group of old men who are scared to death of people taking their money. Back in the day, they were upset that the technology existed to record onto cassette tapes directly from the radio. “What! (Harumph!) Why will people buy music if they can just pull it out of the air?!” Yet, people still bought music. Because it was more accessible. Because more people were exposed. Because Mikey played it for Joey on the corner and then Joey had to have it. It’s music, and we buy what we love. We can’t love music we haven’t heard.

Innovation helps the music industry. The industry only needs to make the effort to keep up and adapt. Make no mistake: exposing as many people as possible to music – all music – is a good thing. Everyone wins. The artist, the audience, even the old guys who just want some more cash.

The laws that are governing online music share sites were written at a time when our online and real-life landscapes were totally different.

Our marching orders are coming from a place that’s completely out of touch and irrelevant. They have these legal legs to stand on that empower them to make life kind of a pain-in-the-ass for people like me. And for many of you. Countless artists have launched their careers though mash ups, bootlegs, remixes and music sharing. These laws and page takedowns are cutting us down at the knees.

And yo, musicians definitely need knees.

We have moved beyond the exhausting notion that our greedy hands need to hold onto these tunes so tightly. The world just doesn’t work like that anymore. I’d happily parse out the pieces of every song I’ve made for others to use. Remix that. Use that. Think you could do it better? Show me. It’s laughable to assert that someone is losing money owed to them because I’m promoting music that I’ve written and recorded. Having the means to expose music to the masses is a deft tool to breathe new life into and promote a song. It’s the most compelling advertising, really.

But it’s more than advertising. It’s sharing. If a person likes one song, then you know what’s likely to happen? They’ll press the download arrow and own it for free. You won’t believe what happens next! They become familiar with the artist, and seek out other material. Maybe they buy that. Maybe they talk about it online. Maybe they go to a show. Maybe they simply become a fan and tell a friend.

I’m cool with that. The labels should be too. It’s exactly what they’re trying to accomplish by funneling endless money for Facebook Likes, Twitter trending hashtags, and totally ridiculous impotent advertising campaigns. Let the people have the music. Or, to put it in language that makes more sense for the ones who can only speak dollar bill – Free the music, and your cash will follow.

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27 Responses

  1. The Truth

    “And maybe” they do NONE of those things. “Maybe” they just let the song sit in their cloud storage with the literally THOUSANDS of other songs they stole or got for free, were it never gets played again…

    Do you understand how people denote value in this Western culture? It’s through BUYING. Value is denoted by MONEY. Grow up, you silly hippy. The facts are in and none of us our making as much (any?) money as we did in the 90’s, for instance. People put little worth on things that are free. Free = worthless to 95% of the Western world. If you want your creations to have no worth, that’s fine but quit trying to drag the rest of us down with you on your quixotic quest to be unemployed and poor.

    • visitor

      this is such a dated 80s/90s conversation about sampling and mashups. the law is fair and all stakeholders get compensated. he’s just a whiny cry baby. you don’t get to have whatever you want, just because you want it.

      if you are so creative you don’t need to steal other peoples work for it to be relevant.

      If he truly believes this I’d like to see him surrender all of his copyright and IP holdings into the public domain, 100%. no holding back, no exceptions. practice what you preach man – if you don’t believe in the value of Copyright and IP, surrender ALL of yours, now, publicly, into the public domain for everyone and anyone to use however they chose, and you get nothing – no money, no say, no consent. But you do get to create and I’m sure you’ll benefit from all of the “advertising and exposure” of having surrendered your rights.

  2. k s

    why would we expect anything less than this sort of buffoonery from a representative of a drug addled generation of thieves and whiners? whose career of producing derivative works requires the theft of others’ creative works?

  3. Versus

    Completely unconvincing argument for so many reasons.

    1. Ad hominem fallacy. The fact that “old men” hold a view does not make it wrong.
    2. Inaccurate ad homimen, at that. Not only “old men” want intellectual property proaction. Plenty of us young artists do as well.
    3. Prove that sharing helps the music industry. Taken a look at the sales progression since the advent of stealing, sorry, “sharing” culture?
    4. Misuse of language. Don’t say “sharing”, with all its positive connotations, when you “share” something that is not yours. That’s not sharing; it’s called “stealing”.
    5. Idealization of sharing culture does not justify breach of your own contracts. If you signed contracts “sharing” certain of your rights to other organizations – be they labels, publishers, or otherwise – then honor your word. Where is your integrity?
    6. “Sharing” should be voluntary. If an intellectual property owner wants to make their work available for free, then that is sharing, and it is their right. If someone else makes an intellectual property owners work available for free, without their consent, then that is theft.

    I could go on. I expected better from Kaskade.

  4. Versus

    One more thing:
    If the music is free, how is anyone supposed to make a living from it?
    (Don’t say touring, as that is not always possible, and don’t say “merch”, as that is not making money from the music).

    • Anonymous

      He’s speaking from an ivory tower where he likely sees a minimum of 30k per Dj gig.

      Of course he doesn’t mind if people share or steal his work.

      • Versus

        So why aren’t the bookings free then also?

        Let’s be consistent at least. If work does not deserve to be paid, then that should apply to all work. So gigs should also be free.

  5. Anonymous

    “The laws that are governing online music share sites were written at a time when our online and real-life landscapes were totally different”

    Indeed, piracy was not much of an issue back then.

    Today, it costs millions of dollars and jobs. So yes, laws — and enforcement — need a serious update.

    • Versus

      Exactly. The laws need to be rewritten so they protect intellectual property online as well.

  6. no quality control

    I didn’t know who Kaskade was until I saw this article. I gave a listen to some of his tracks online and I am surprised that they passed quality control from a label. There are nasty artifacts and clipping everywhere. No headroom, no balance, nothing. Garbage.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      You need to get out more. Kaskade is huge.

      • really?

        What does going out have to do with knowing what is good music and what is brick limited noise? Are you deaf or just naive?

        • mdti

          That’s mere ignorance of that genre.The tracks are all pretty good, well produced, well inspired.
          You guys are entitled to your taste, but remember that Elvis the Pelvis is the devil !!!

      • so what

        The biggest landfill in my country is huge too.

  7. Wha?

    why would they download one thing for free, but suddenly pay for something else instead of downloading it for free too?

    so what if he talks about it online or to his friends, if they are going to download it too.

    what if the artist isn’t touring? never did, or did 10 years ago? the ratio of live acts to recorded music is tiny.

    this is an artist who has benefitted from years big label record sales and support. it’s like donald trump saying everyone should get $500 haircuts, because HE can.

    • Versus

      It’s far more hypocritical than that:

      It’s like Donald Trump saying “All real estate should be free. Selling and charging rent for property is so over.”

  8. Krushyr

    What an ass. We have this, and it is called Creative Commons. The creator should choose whether his/her work should be free, not douche bags like Kaskade. What he is talking about is just… stealing!

  9. oz

    yes good commonsense comments here mostly, kaskade just pushing more starry eyed hippy shit.
    useful idiocy for trendy US style libertarian nonsense. enuff already.

    • Actually

      In defense of libertarians…
      Personal property rights are a primary foundation of libertarian philosophy.
      The movement is probably 50/50 split on whether intellectual property should be considered property.
      The argument…if more than 1 person can own and use something without diminishing the value of the thing for others, what right does someone else have to forcefully prevent the second person from using it? Obviously this ignores that a creator would most likely prefer to control and benefit from inventions.
      Hence an ongoing debate in the libertarian community.

    • Versus

      I could be more forgiving of the starry-eyed hippy attitude if he actually lived by it.
      His net worth of $10 million, however, presumably didn’t fall from heaven, but was made as …INCOME from music.

      Anyway, note to self: If I ever want any Kaskade music (which I don’t since he took the regrettable turn from the mellow house of which he was a supreme master into the unlistenable screech-trance of the moment), I will not pay for it. Kaskade said it’s old-fashioned to pay, after all.

  10. oz

    …..it’s like whining about not owning your house anymore after YOU’VE sold it and taken the money.

  11. KnobTwiddler

    The grocery store doesn’t give me food for free cause they know I’ll become a fan of eating and seek out more food. This is simply the argument kids use to justify stealing shit. Sorry kids, I call bullshit on this old saw.

  12. Chris

    OK then Kaskade – next time you DJ I’ll record your set and then tour under your name DJing using the ‘shared’ set I got from stealing from you. I’ll undercut your fee by a couple of grand and copy your clothing so nobody will know any different.

    See how you like ‘sharing’ then you fucking moron