Analysis

Kaskade attacks ‘out of touch and irrelevant’ SoundCloud takedowns


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kaskadeEDM star Kaskade has been one of the enthusiastic artist users of SoundCloud in recent years, but recently seemed to be criticising the company on Twitter for taking several of his uploads down, after they were identified as the copyright of a label – even though that was the label he’s signed to, Ultra Records.

“I imagine over the next week my entire sound cloud will be taken down. Sorry but there is nothing I can do here,” he wrote. “Although 70% of my sound cloud has been taken down you might want to consider visiting it and grabbing those last bits… Yes, so I will move forward with constructing my own portal where I can share what I like when I like.”

This weekend, Kaskade – 43 year-old American Ryan Raddon – published a blog post expanding on this. “When I signed with Ultra, I kissed goodbye forever the rights to own my music. They own it. And now Sony owns them. So now Sony owns my music. I knew that going in,” he wrote.

“Soundcloud is beholden to labels to keep copyright protected music (read: all music put out by a label, any label) off their site unless authorized by the label. Am I authorized to post my music? Yep. Does their soulless robot program know that? Not so much. So some stuff they pulled was mistakenly deleted, but some tracks were absolutely rule breakers. The mash ups.”

So, Kaskade’s anger is more at labels who he sees as squashing his creative right to share mash-ups on SoundCloud – “this cagey group of old men who are scared to death of people taking their money” – than SoundCloud itself.

“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… Countless artists have launched their careers though mash ups, bootlegs, remixes and music sharing. These laws and page take-downs are cutting us down at the knees.”

As ever, this debate cuts two ways: Kaskade’s assumption is that the artists lucky enough to be mashed up by DJs on their way to building lucrative careers will appreciate the attention rather than a sampling fee.

“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,” wrote Kaskade. Many artists will agree with him, but perhaps not all.

The more serious point, though, is that new ways of creating and sharing music – from mash-ups to YouTube covers – will always generate fresh copyright arguments. If Kaskade does launch his own portal making his mash-ups available to millions of fans, it’ll almost certainly spark another. Although if he can figure out a proper licensing model, that could be the biggest benefit to the community.

Stuart Dredge

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6 responses
  • Most Proper says:

    This is another classic example of how it’s all about the money. Big wigs could care less about the millions of artist’ promoting mash ups, remixes, bootlegs etc unless they generate a large amount of money (legally or illegally) or have a large fan base. Ya, technically we’re all breaking copyright laws by even remixing or ‘distributing’ the works of others but the majority of us are smart enough not to charge for these works because that can obviously get messy. Remixing a song and giving it to the world does nothing more than promote both parties, woopty f*ckin doo.

  • eben says:

    i love SoundCloud but hearing this just infuriates me! a person wanting to share their own creation and being denied that opportunity due to the fact that their material is a part of a larger ferris wheel of corporate identities copyright claims is just plain polony!

  • Drew says:

    Kaskade you are the man! Always epic with your music and always looking out for the fans. We appreciate it and you have full support! Keep the good vibes coming, hopefully on your new portal.

  • JSF_MusicK says:

    Kaskade thank you for your mixes and music in general, i leave trough sound cloud. If you open a portal i will be 100 percent on your side and i will make sure i mass share my friend. keep giving hope to the people that really love creativity and music.. Music is life.

  • acid grime music says:

    if soundcloud did not comply with labels, they would have been involved in multiple lawsuits from their early existence….once u sign with a greedy label they own copyrights and publishing rights…they take bulk % of sales… in return they record you . distribute and promote you around the globe..with their money and industy connections.they lay out a platform for the artist’s music career that benefits both the labels and artist…mostly the label… many labels were started because of it…DGM, acid grime music, bedrock, pichtfork etc etc

    what kaskade should do is what many of us have done…create u own label,, and own 100% of everything u release.. publishing and copyright….with his fame and financial security im surprised he hasn’t started his label already

  • AndrewAAA says:

    How about someone writes an article on the fact SC has millionaires backing it but pays nothing out to artists, no PPL, no PRS and runs a fake stat bot system to fake the listening numbers. Joke.

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