If data is the new oil, then falsified digital music numbers are the dirty red diesel sold under the counter. 5magazine has run an exposé after catching out a dance music DJ trying to game their SoundCloud plays to make them seem more popular than they were. The DJ talks them through not only how he falsified plays (using Cloud-Dominator and paying it $45 for 20,000 “plays”) but also how he was able to buy made up comments. The knock-on effect is that tracks appear popular, this raises people’s interests and the DJ gets the legitimate plays they so craved. A fascinating look what is a data arms race or the new payola [delete as applicable]. Overall it’s not been a good week for SoundCloud as it 2,500 premium users of the service have signed an online petition complaining about its copyright policies that seriously restrict what they can upload (such as mashups). A SoundCloud spokesperson told Music Week, ““Our content ID system relies on rules set by rights holders, and will only block or remove a sound automatically if the rights holder, usually (in the case of music) a record label or distributor, has requested this when delivering their content into the content ID system. If a creator has permission to post his/her own content and their sound gets blocked, we have a clear and effective process to deal with this quickly and efficiently.”

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