Soundcloud has been in and out of the limelight for quite some time now; previously hailed as a sanctuary for DIY artists, underground has evolved into a platform shared by industry giants and up-and-comers alike. Recently, Soundcloud has been catching a lot of heat, both from thirsty music moguls who want their piece of the pie and from frustrated unsigned artists whose tracks have been removed. We have transitioned into an era in which dance music is incredibly profitable; this can be a blessing or a curse, depending on who you ask. Electronic music and hip-hop come from sampling cultures, although many artists that came up on sampling are now pressing for royalties from artists who sample their music. Just as Pioneer has developed Kuvo, Soundcloud is developing a way to work around these issues, in which the sample content and songs can be monetized for the original creator as well as the one reappropriating it. Soundcloud has released a statement on copyright infringement, both protecting themselves from liability and outlining their views and future developments, which can be found here
For several months, Soundcloud has enjoyed partnerships with major labels such as Warner Music and its subsidiaries; while it may be too early to tell how this will affect musicians, it is clear that both Soundcloud and the labels will benefit greatly. In fact, as part of the deal, Warner Music gained a 4% agreed to indemnify Soundcloud against all prior copyright infringement. The lack of prior protocol for remixes/bootlegs/edits has created an environment which encouraged free downloads of bootlegged content. New artists need an outlet to make these edits and remixes available before they can do original content, and Soundcloud has always been that for them; we only hope that these changes will be implemented successfully, therefore continuing as a platform for all artists while ensuring that the creators of sampled/remixed content are getting their fair share. “Fair” means something different to everyone, and it will surely take some time to explore that grey area and come to an aggreement.