Ho ho! SoundCloud removed a silent track on copyright grounds! Except actually, it didn’t.
The streaming service has pointed out that its takedown of a track uploaded by DJ Detweiler – revealed by the artist with a screenshot – was more than it seemed. Although named ‘John Cage – 4’33 (DJ Detweiler Remix’, the track was actually… Well, we’ll let SoundCloud explain.
“The upload referenced in the screenshot was not a track of silence and was taken down because it included Justin Bieber’s What Do You Mean without the rightsholder’s permission,” said the company in a statement.
“The respective user uploaded the track under the title “4’33”,” which is also the name of John Cage’s famous piece of silence but it was not, in fact, silence.”
In a subsequent interview with Engadget, DJ Detweiler claimed their prank was an attempt to spark more discussion about copyright law, while on Twitter they ribbed journalists who’d fallen for the scam by posting a picture of the CTRL-C and CTRL-V keyboard combinations (representing ‘copy and paste’) with the message “‘I AM A JOURNALIST FOR AN INTERNET MAGAZINE’