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Copyright Infringement Soundcloud – Ultimate Guide

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Manish Jindal

January 19, 2024

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Copyright Infringement Soundcloud – Ultimate Guide

Are you aware about the copyright infringement Soundcloud?

Do you know how effective Soundcloud platform is to grow the audience for your music and enhancing the brand awareness?

Nevertheless, this platform is also prone to infringement. Hence, if you upload music in this platform, you should understand the laws and how to apply them in the music.

Let us explore the infringement nuances on Soundcloud and important tips to eliminate the violation.

We will also delve into the copyright realm and educate yourself about the creative work.


What is Soundcloud Copyright Infringement?

Copyright Infringement takes place when an individual utilises copyrighted material without obtaining permission from the  holder.

On Soundcloud, this situation can arise when a user uploads or shares music for which they do not possess the necessary rights.

This could involve uploading an entire track that belongs to another artist, sampling portions of copyrighted music in a new creation, or using copyrighted background music in a podcast without proper authorisation.

With all these cases, the users are infringing the rights of the original  owner. This will also pave way to legal actions and serious impact for the uploader and platform.

Further Reading: Music Copyright License Fees


Soundcloud Platform

Soundcloud, as a platform, serves as a prominent online audio distribution hub and music-sharing website, empowering users to upload, promote, and disseminate their original music creations.

Soundcloud platform is reputed and well-established.

This platform also provides a spectacular exposure for the music work and connecting with the fans.

The platform offers a user-friendly interface, where creators can easily upload their tracks, curate playlists, and engage with their audience through comments and likes.

Soundcloud also caters to listeners, who can search for and discover new music, follow their favorite artists, and create playlists of their preferred tracks.

This accessibility has contributed to Soundcloud’s status as an essential tool for musicians and music enthusiasts alike.

In addition to fostering community engagement, Soundcloud has introduced various features to support artists in their career development.

These features include Soundcloud Premier, a monetisation program that enables eligible creators to generate revenue from their music, and Soundcloud Repost, a distribution service that helps artists reach a broader audience across multiple platforms.

Soundcloud is one of the reputed platforms for the music, it also provides measures and resources for the content creators to grow and enhance their talent in the digital landscape.


Monetisation on Soundcloud

Monetisation on Soundcloud is made possible through a program known as Soundcloud Premier, designed to enable eligible creators to generate revenue from their music.

By participating in this program, artists can receive financial compensation for the utilisation of their work, emphasising the significance of respecting content on the platform.

There are several criteria to become eligible for the Soundcloud Premier. These criteria include at least 18 years old, Pro Unlimited account and not holding any  strikes on the account.


Additionally, their music must be original and adhere to the platform’s terms of use.

Once enrolled in Soundcloud Premier, creators can earn revenue through multiple streams, including advertisements, promoted content, and listener subscriptions.

Advertisements are placed on tracks, and the revenue generated is shared with the creator based on the number of listens their content receives.

Promoted content refers to sponsored tracks or playlists, where artists can earn a share of the revenue depending on their level of engagement with listeners.

Finally, listener subscriptions, such as Soundcloud Go+ or Soundcloud Go, contribute to an artist’s revenue share, calculated based on the proportion of total listening time their content receives.

By offering a variety of monetisation options, Soundcloud supports creators in earning income from their work, while simultaneously encouraging users to acknowledge and respect the copyright of others on the platform.

Exclusive Rights of Copyright Owner on Soundcloud

As an owner on SoundCloud, you have exclusive rights to certain uses of your music. These rights include:

Reproduction: You have the right to reproduce your music in any form, including physical copies or digital files.

Distribution: You have the right to distribute your music, which includes selling or giving away copies of your music.

Public performance: You have the right to perform your music publicly, whether it’s live or through a recording.

Display: You have the right to display your music publicly, such as through album artwork or music videos.

Derivative works: You have the right to create derivative works based on your music, such as remixes or covers.

Digital transmission: You have the right to transmit your music digitally, such as through streaming services like SoundCloud.

If someone else wants to use your music in any of these ways, they must obtain permission from you or your authorised representative. Failure to obtain permission can result in legal action and damages.

Legal Advice on the Copyright Infringement

Understand What Constitutes Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement occurs when someone copies, distributes, publicly displays, publicly performs, or creates a derivative work from an original work without the permission of the holder.

The original work must be a creative expression that is fixed in a tangible medium (e.g., a book, a painting, a film, or a piece of music).

Determine If the Work is Protected by Copyright

Generally, protection extends to original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.

In the United States, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years.

However, some works may fall into the public domain or have a shorter  term. Research the work’s copyright status before using it.

Be Aware of Fair Use

In some cases, using copyrighted material without permission may be considered “fair use.”

Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows for limited use of copyrighted material without permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

Factors that are considered when determining fair use include the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion used, and the effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Seek Permission from the Copyright Holder

If you want to use copyrighted material and it does not fall under fair use, you should seek permission from the  holder.

This may involve licensing the work or obtaining a release.

Consider the Potential Consequences of Infringement

Copyright infringement can lead to significant legal consequences, including damages, injunctions, and even criminal penalties in some cases.

If you are found to have infringed on someone’s copyright, you may be required to pay damages to the holder, which can be substantial.

Register your Own Copyrighted Works

If you create original works, consider registering your copyright with the appropriate government agency, such as the U.S. Copyright Office.

Registering your content can provide additional legal protection and make it easier to enforce your rights in case of infringement.

Compliance with Copyright Law

Compliance with law is essential for individuals and businesses alike in order to avoid potential legal consequences. Here are some general tips to help you comply with law:

Understand Copyright Basics

Get familiar with the fundamentals of law, including what types of works are protected, the duration of copyright protection, and the rights granted to  holders.

Respect the Rights of Copyright Holders

Do not copy, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or create derivative works from copyrighted material without the permission of the holder, unless an exception like fair use applies.

Educate Yourself on Fair Use

Learn about the concept of fair use, which allows for limited use of copyrighted material without permission under certain circumstances, such as for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

Keep in mind that fair use can be a complex and subjective area of law, so consult with an attorney if you’re unsure whether your use of copyrighted material falls under fair use.

Obtain Permissions and Licenses

If you want to use copyrighted material and it does not fall under fair use, obtain permission from the holder.

This may involve licensing agreements or obtaining a release.

Make sure to follow the terms of any license or agreement you enter into.

Attribute and Cite Sources

When using copyrighted material under fair use or with permission, be sure to properly attribute and cite the original source.

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This can help avoid potential claims of plagiarism or misrepresentation.

Implement Copyright Policies and Procedures

If you run a business or organisation, establish clear copyright policies and procedures for your employees or members.

This may include guidelines on how to obtain permissions, how to properly attribute sources, and how to handle potential infringement claims.

Regularly Review and Update Your Practices

Copyright law can evolve over time, and it’s essential to stay informed about any changes.

Regularly review and update your compliance practices to ensure they remain in line with current laws and regulations.

Register Your Own Copyrighted Works

If you create original works, consider registering your copyright with the appropriate government agency, such as the U.S. Copyright Office.

Registering your copyright can provide additional legal protection and make it easier to enforce your rights in case of infringement.

Respond to Infringement Claims Promptly

If you receive a claim of  infringement, address it promptly and consult with an attorney to determine the appropriate course of action.

Further Reading: What is Copyright Piracy

Reports of Copyright Infringement on the Soundcloud

SoundCloud is a popular online platform where users can upload, share, and discover music and audio content.

As with any content-sharing platform, it is essential for users to respect laws and avoid infringing on the rights of copyright holders.

Here are some steps you can take if you discover instances of copyright infringement on SoundCloud:

Report the Infringement to SoundCloud

If you believe that your copyrighted work has been used on SoundCloud without your permission, you can submit a report to SoundCloud’s Copyright Team by using their online form or sending an email to [email protected].

Be prepared to provide information about the copyrighted work, the allegedly infringing content, and your contact information.

Provide a Detailed Description of the Infringement

In your report, be specific about how your copyrighted work has been infringed upon.

Include the title of your work, the URL of the original work (if available), and the URL of the SoundCloud track or playlist that you believe is infringing upon your copyright.

Include a Statement of Good Faith

In your report, include a statement that you believe in good faith that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorised by the owner, its agent, or the law.

Include a Statement of Accuracy

Also include a statement that the information in your report is accurate, and, under penalty of perjury, that you are the owner or authorised to act on behalf of the owner.

Provide your signature

Sign your report, either physically or electronically.

Monitor the Situation

Once you’ve submitted your report, SoundCloud’s Copyright Team will review your complaint and take appropriate action, which may include removing the infringing content or disabling the user’s account.

Keep an eye on the situation to ensure that the infringement does not continue or reoccur.

Protect your Own Content

To help prevent future instances of infringement, consider watermarking your content, registering your copyright, and including a clear copyright notice on your original works.

Conclusion

In conclusion, copyright infringement on SoundCloud is a matter of significant concern for both content creators and the platform itself.

As a global community for sharing and discovering music and audio content, it is crucial for SoundCloud and its users to adhere to copyright laws, protect the rights of copyright holders, and foster a culture of respect for intellectual property.

By taking appropriate measures, such as reporting instances of infringement, educating users on copyright laws and fair use, and providing resources to content creators to safeguard their works, SoundCloud can continue to thrive as a hub for creativity and collaboration.

It is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure that the platform remains a safe and legitimate space for creators to share their works while respecting the rights of others.

Are you looking for experts to resolve your copyright infringement issues? Book a Demo with us to discuss it with experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is copyright infringement on SoundCloud?

Copyright infringement on SoundCloud occurs when a user uploads or shares content, such as music or audio recordings, without the necessary permissions from the copyright holder.

This may include using copyrighted material without authorisation, sampling copyrighted content without permission, or using a copyrighted song as a background track without obtaining a license.

How does SoundCloud detect copyright infringement?

SoundCloud uses an automated content identification system called “Content ID” to detect and prevent copyright infringement.

This system scans uploaded tracks and compares them to a database of copyrighted content.

If a match is found, the system may block the upload or flag it for further review.

What happens if my track is flagged for copyright infringement on SoundCloud?

If your track is flagged for copyright infringement, it may be removed from the platform, and you may receive a copyright strike.

Multiple strikes can result in the suspension or termination of your SoundCloud account.

Can I dispute a copyright claim on SoundCloud?

Yes, if you believe that your track has been flagged incorrectly, you can file a dispute through SoundCloud’s dispute resolution process.

You will need to provide evidence that you have the necessary permissions or that your use of the copyrighted material falls under fair use.

What is fair use and how does it apply to SoundCloud?

Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted material without obtaining permission from the copyright holder.

Factors considered in fair use include the purpose of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount used, and the effect on the market for the original work.

However, fair use can be subjective, and it is ultimately up to a court to decide if a specific case qualifies as fair use.

How can I avoid copyright infringement on SoundCloud?

To avoid copyright infringement, ensure that you have the necessary permissions, licenses, or that your use of copyrighted material falls under fair use.

You can also use royalty-free music or create your own original content.

Can I use copyrighted music in a podcast or DJ mix on SoundCloud?

Using copyrighted music in a podcast or DJ mix without proper permissions or licenses can result in copyright infringement.

It is essential to obtain the necessary permissions from the copyright holder before including their work in your content.

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