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Soundcloud -- BEWARE

dannymc

Senior Member
i"ve only recently starting working with some exclusives. i was always a bit nervous about posting these same tracks on soundcloud in case of something like this. thanks for posting John, removed a track which is due to be signed. i'd like to get complete clarification on this thou for the future.

Danny
 

bbunker

Senior Member
From Orfium's Terms of Service, just for comparison:

You hereby grant (and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant) to Company an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use and exploit your User Content, and to grant sublicenses of the foregoing rights


Wow, that sounds familiar.

From Bandcamp's Terms of Service:

Each Artist uploading Music to the Service grants Company and its authorized sublicensees and distributors, if any, the worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, right and license to: (i) reproduce, distribute, publicly perform (including on a through-to-the-audience basis and by means of a digital audio transmission), publicly display, create derivate works of, communicate to the public, synchronize and otherwise exploit (collectively, “Exploit”) (1) the Artist’s Music

These all of course go on to limit the scope of these licenses to the use of the platform itself. As does Soundcloud.
 

mikehamm123

Member
I disable downloads.

There are other clauses in the agreement that prohibit people's stealing content... its pretty self-contradictory.
 

scottbuckley

Active Member
From Orfium's Terms of Service, just for comparison:

You hereby grant (and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant) to Company an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use and exploit your User Content, and to grant sublicenses of the foregoing rights


Wow, that sounds familiar.

From Bandcamp's Terms of Service:

Each Artist uploading Music to the Service grants Company and its authorized sublicensees and distributors, if any, the worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, right and license to: (i) reproduce, distribute, publicly perform (including on a through-to-the-audience basis and by means of a digital audio transmission), publicly display, create derivate works of, communicate to the public, synchronize and otherwise exploit (collectively, “Exploit”) (1) the Artist’s Music

These all of course go on to limit the scope of these licenses to the use of the platform itself. As does Soundcloud.

I'm with @bbunker - this 'scary use' of my music is solely limited to the platform. It would be great to get a lawyer's point of view on this - I wouldn't be surprised if some of this wording has a reason for being there that ISN'T malicious - just essentially giving the platform permission to distribute your music as you want them to.

I often regard all this legal stuff as an evolutionary system - the wording exists because something happened in the past that left someone open to litigation. I hate taking a stance that EVERYTHING a company does isn't in the best interest of the artists - but I can understand why you all feel that way, too... such is our modern world.

-s
 

ghostnote

Vincit qui se vincit.
I don't think the competitors (except Bandcamp) will last for too long. I've tried 3 of them and Soundcloud is still my main resource for showcasing my portfolio and discovering new stuff. I was concerned after the shut down of the groups, but this new station thing really makes sense and also showed where the group feature had its downsides.

I really hope Soundcloud will improve further, because I can't see any potential (right now) in Bandcamp (nor in all the other platforms) getting a serious competitor.

And I fully agree: Downloads should be disabled.
 
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Mike Fox

Never trust the living
I never did like the layout of Soundcloud, which is why I used Bandcamp instead. I never read Soundcloud's agreement, so thanks for posting that John.
 

Demisane

Chemical Geo-Spatial Musician
Alright, I just read through the entire Grant of License. So basically, this clause exist for Soundcloud to be able to let other users listen to your work. If you read further you see an entire paragraph saying how using/downloading content is a breach of service.

Any Content other than Your Content is the property of the relevant Uploader, and is or may be subject to copyright, trademark rights or other intellectual property or proprietary rights. Such Content may not be downloaded, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, re-uploaded, republished, displayed, sold, licensed, made available or otherwise communicated to the public or exploited for any purposes except via the features of the Platform from time to time and within the parameters set by the Uploader on the Platform or with the express written consent of the Uploader. Where you repost another user’s Content, or include another user’s Content in a playlist or station or where you listen to another user’s Content offline, you acquire no ownership rights whatsoever in that Content. Subject to the rights expressly granted in this section, all rights in Content are reserved to the relevant Uploader.
 
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JohnG

JohnG

Senior Member
Thread starter
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The point of my original post is that the agreement is written in a way that easily could lead to confusion -- bad confusion -- that could cause misunderstandings and disputes.

1. It's over-long,

2. You have to read all of it to understand any of it, and

3. I don't think it's good form for an online agreement like this to be drafted with paragraphs deep in the agreement that alter significantly terms that otherwise seem clear at the beginning.

I think this is fatally poor drafting for an agreement for a broad audience. I am familiar with this style -- my very first film had an agreement written in a similar way. I also accept that legal agreements do have to be read in their entirety to be complete. For this purpose, however, I think it's a bad choice and have heard it lead to problems.

Another document that has to be read in its entirety -- but rarely is -- is the prospectus that comes with a stock or bond offering. Investors don't read prospectuses cover to cover either, and that leads to problems, so the SEC introduced a prospectus summary. Possibly such a summary could help with this agreement, but until there is one and it can be read and clearly absorbed in a few minutes, I stand by my objections.

Kind regards,

John
 

Demisane

Chemical Geo-Spatial Musician
The point of my original post is that the agreement is written in a way that easily could lead to confusion -- bad confusion -- that could cause misunderstandings and disputes.

1. It's over-long,

2. You have to read all of it to understand any of it, and

3. I don't think it's good form for an online agreement like this to be drafted with paragraphs deep in the agreement that alter significantly terms that otherwise seem clear at the beginning.

I think this is fatally poor drafting for an agreement for a broad audience. I am familiar with this style -- my very first film had an agreement written in a similar way. I also accept that legal agreements do have to be read in their entirety to be complete. For this purpose, however, I think it's a bad choice and have heard it lead to problems.

Another document that has to be read in its entirety -- but rarely is -- is the prospectus that comes with a stock or bond offering. Investors don't read prospectuses cover to cover either, and that leads to problems, so the SEC introduced a prospectus summary. Possibly such a summary could help with this agreement, but until there is one and it can be read and clearly absorbed in a few minutes, I stand by my objections.

Kind regards,

John

You maybe right about the drafting being unprofessional, I can't comment on that as I have never had a creative legal agreement with anyone yet. Though from what I gather, soundcloud is being vague enough to keep themselves out of trouble whenever somebody decides to sue.
 

Hasen6

Active Member
To be honest I don't know why anyone puts their music in full tracks online with no watermark at all...especially not on a huge site like soundcloud. Soundcloud is China's free music library to score all their tv and movies.
 
To be honest I don't know why anyone puts their music in full tracks online with no watermark at all...especially not on a huge site like soundcloud. Soundcloud is China's free music library to score all their tv and movies.

So what is your take on this one? People shouldn't upload their finished works for free online?

And... Soundcloud is better or that little website no one knows about?
 

Hasen6

Active Member
So what is your take on this one? People shouldn't upload their finished works for free online?

And... Soundcloud is better or that little website no one knows about?

Soundcloud appears to be blocked in China...at least playing the music seems to be prohibited. I would imagine its soundcloud blocking it since I can't see any reason China themselves would want to block it. Although a simple VPN would get around that. Well you're protected by copyright which works fairly well in the west but in China they're not bothered about copyright. I even heard tracks from composers on the old garritan forums on a Chinese show and frequently hear movie music on adverts or soap operas in China. When you hear LOTR music on a cheap soap opera you know something is up.

Personally I just wouldn't upload a complete track and certainly not without a watermark. China also have the most pirates and hackers so your music is also likely to end up on some kind of pirate music pack that westerners would even end up using.

I don't think there's any problem with soundcloud specifically, its just the largest of this type of site. The main concept of having your music uploaded and available for free. If someone licences your music and then uses it online its still open to stealing...but at least you've had some compensation for that already. Just putting music online totally for free doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
 

Flaneurette

Active Member
Thanks for the information. I will certainly not make use of this service when I want to release something that is close to my heart. We live in strange times, along these insatiable creatures of consumption...
 

Mundano

Active Member
"Magnetic's David Ireland catches up with the founders of the new music streaming platform Orfium. Is Orfium the future of streaming? Tune in and hear what the founders of the platform have to say about the status quo, their platform and the future of streaming services for independent artists."
 

Mus'images

New Member
I just read the warranty conditions of soundcloud, and i think that there is no need to worry. Here is an excerpt of the conditions of guarantees that explain my reasoning, of which i have highlighted the important passages:

"By uploading Your Content to the Platform, you also grant a limited, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid up, license to other users of the Platform, and to operators and users of any other websites, apps and/or platforms to which Your Content has been shared or embedded using the Services (“Linked Services”), to use, copy, listen to offline, repost, transmit or otherwise distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, adapt, prepare derivative works of, compile, make available and otherwise communicate to the public, Your Content utilizing the features of the Platform from time to time, and within the parameters set by you using the Services. You can limit and restrict the availability of certain of Your Content to other users of the Platform, and to users of Linked Services, at any time using the permissions tab in the track edit section for each sound you upload, subject to the provisions of the Disclaimer section below. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in these Terms of Use grants any rights to any other user of the Platform with respect to any proprietary name, logo, trademark or service mark uploaded by you as part of Your Content (for example, your profile picture) (“Marks”), other than the right to reproduce, publicly display, make available and otherwise communicate to the public those Marks, automatically and without alteration, as part of the act of reposting sounds with which you have associated those Marks."

Please correct me if i'm wrong.
 
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Dear Villain

Coffee before music
Not that I will miss my Soundcloud account. If I were the producer of much content, I would still much rather host it myself, where I have the control, and don't need to worry about a third party suddenly changing the terms of service on me.

I know I'm late to the dance, but this caught my eye, only because last week I posted a track on the composer's sub-forum with a link directly to it on my site, only to have someone suggest to me that it was too much trouble to download an mp3 from my site and that most users here would only listen to links streamed from services like Soundcloud (despite the fact that the link to my site immediately streams the file, no downloading necessary). It kind of shocked me, but of course, like everyone else, I follow the suggestions/path of others before me and now have re-activated my soundcloud...Interesting thing is, I just might remove myself from the platform (again!) after reading all this.
 
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