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Businesses Music The Internet

Universal To License Music To SoundCloud In Streaming Deal (thestack.com) 49

An anonymous reader writes: Universal Music Group has agreed to license its music to online audio platform SoundCloud – a major step for the popular startup, which has struggled to receive legitimate recognition in the industry. SoundCloud will enjoy access to Universal material, including work from top global artists signed to the label such as Adele, Taylor Swift and Kanye West. Conversely Universal will be able to access SoundCloud's advertising, analytics and data tools with the aim of increasing revenue streams and bolstering fan/artist engagement.
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Universal To License Music To SoundCloud In Streaming Deal

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  • by meeotch ( 524339 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @09:44PM (#51297651) Homepage

    top global artists signed to the label such as Adele, Taylor Swift and Kanye West

    ...and nothing was gained.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      top global artists signed to the label such as Adele, Taylor Swift and Kanye West

      And now you understand how the Norks feel about listening to KPop blasting on loudspeakers all the time.

    • top global artists signed to the label such as Adele, Taylor Swift and Kanye West

      ...and nothing was gained.

      Who are these people and why are they on my lawn?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Although, considering the music coming out these days, I've already got all I need.

  • The idea of "legitimate recognition in the industry" is ludicrous. Soundcloud is the new music industry, or at least the face of what is to come. It's a huge gamechanger because artists take their content straight to Soundcloud with very little overhead and no gatekeepers, and they can reach fans directly. I'm a huge music person, and I rarely ever have to leave Soundcloud to stay entertained. There's a huge number of very talented people and good content. I don't listen to pop music or the radio, and I'm
    • wishing doesn't pay the bills. Soundcloud has decided their current audience is not enough.
    • artists take their content straight to Soundcloud with very little overhead and no gatekeepers

      I thought the gatekeepers were the traditional music publishers. A music publisher differs from a record label in that a record label owns copyright in a recording (as embodied in a CD), while a music publisher owns copyright in the underlying musical work (as embodied in sheet music). There are millions of existing musical works, with BMI alone controlling a repertory of over nine million, and only so many possible hooks in the seven notes of the scale. (Proof available on request.) So when an artist write

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        So when an artist writes and records a piece of music and uploads it to SoundCloud, what steps is the artist supposed to have taken to ensure that his song doesn't accidentally infringe copyright in one of the millions of existing songs? I ask because I compose music, am considering seeking extra exposure through SoundCloud, and want to limit my liability in cases of accidental infringement. Has anyone heard from a lawyer on this?

        What do you expect a copyright lawyer to say? It's like asking a patent lawyer how you can be sure your invention doesn't infringe on any of the millions of patents out there - and they are all at least publicly available. He'd probably tell you it'd be a very long and very expensive search through convoluted legalese that wouldn't guarantee anything anyway. With copyrighted works there isn't even a repository to compare with, so I don't see there's anything you can do to truly avoid it. Even if someone off

        • by jbengt ( 874751 )

          . . . what steps is the artist supposed to have taken to ensure that his song doesn't accidentally infringe copyright in one of the millions of existing songs? . . . Has anyone heard from a lawyer on this?

          What do you expect a copyright lawyer to say? It's like asking a patent lawyer how you can be sure your invention doesn't infringe on any of the millions of patents out there - and they are all at least publicly available.

          Unlike patents, independently coming up with a similar song is not necessarily infringing - see the Chinese-walled reverse-engineering of BIOS for an example. Of course, it would be up to a jury to decide.
          (YMMV, IANAL, DMCA.)

          • You appear to refer to a defense that an alleged infringer never had access to the copyright owner's work, in the "access plus similarity equals copying" formula from copyright case law. But I seem to remember reading that the court can impute access if the copyright owner can show that the alleged infringer reasonably should have heard the copyright owner's composition. This would appear to make the independent creation defense unavailable if the earlier work had been played on FM radio during the alleged

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Boiling your comment down: Publish anyway and attempt to use the easier to ask forgiveness than permission (EAFP) principle [stackoverflow.com]. Now on mitigating risk of an exception:

          or if it's really too close to a copy try to make a reasonable settlement.

          I wonder what sort of settlement the incumbent music publishers would consider "reasonable", especially if it's something for which I never received royalties in the first place, such as the background music for a film or video game released under a Creative Commons license. I could stop infringing by taking down the work containing the piece imm

  • Before you get too excited, what will a membership cost?
  • Thought it said "steaming deal".

  • So? (Score:4, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @11:25PM (#51298075) Journal

    SoundCloud – a major step for the popular startup, which has struggled to receive legitimate recognition in the industry

    Soundcloud is one of the more dynamic and interesting sources for music. Who cares if it receives "legitimate recognition in the industry"? The industry is a dinosaur and is best left for the junkpile of history alongside the whale oil industry.

    I find some of the most interesting new music on Soundcloud. Nothing from Taylor Swift or Adele is going to make me more likely to use it.

    • That's nice. So Soundcloud had a slashdot user. Party!

      In the mean time there are millions upon millions of potential customers who complain about the lack of current pop-music on such services. Personally I'm more concerned with working my way through David Bowie's back library but that doesn't mean I need to be completely oblivious to the rest of the world. To answer your question:

      So now there are potentially millions of more people interested in the service. That list just doesn't include you or me.

      • Personally I'm more concerned with working my way through David Bowie's back library.

        If you're just now working your way through Bowie's back library, you're not Soundcloud's target audience. I don't know, maybe iHeart Radio where you can have your tastes curated for you is more appropriate.

        Soundcloud is to Apple Music what SOHO and Chelsea are to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

        • If you're just now working your way through Bowie's back library, you're not Soundcloud's target audience.

          No not JUST now, but I am currently listening to records I had to dust off from the bottom of the shelf (I should really get a copy of Ziggy Stardust digitally). News about someone who's stuff you haven't heard in a while does that.

          But that is what I said wasn't it. They didn't do it out of interest of you or me, but rather the millions of others out there.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Somehow I don't see a lot of money flowing in the direction of Soundcloud from Universal, and wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of changes to allow people to access music only in ways they really wouldn't want to, and eventually Soundcloud is completely different and ends up fading away.

  • Just posted a couple tracks. Now they are going to feel shy....

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