Testing Soundcloud’s Claims That DJ Mixes Are Safe From Copyright Takedown

As originally reported by the German site Groove, Soundcloud founder Eric Wahlforss is claiming that DJ mixes can now be legally uploaded. We decided to test out his claims – and today we’re going to start uploading DJ mixes that were previously taken down. Have a mix that you think qualifies? Share a link and we’ll add it to our Soundcloud.

  • DJ mixes with copywritten content are apparently now legal on Soundcloud
  • Remixes and mashups are still an unknown grey area
  • We’re uploading mixes that DJs have had taken down to test the new policies
  • Have a mix that was taken down? Email us – details at end of this article.

Soundcloud’s Unofficial Change In Policy

The interview that Mr Wahlforss did with Groove is casual (in that there has been no other official announcement of a change to site policies), but specific. Translated (via Google), he shares that as a result of negotiations for the new Soundcloud Go service, mixes are now totally legal to upload on the site:

During the negotiations for our subscription service as well as an agreement was with collecting societies like GEMA achieved in Germany. This means that DJ mixes can now be legally and problem-free on SoundCloud. So this is a very positive news for DJs.

Unfortunately not mentioned was other content that producers have worked hard on and gotten takedown notices for – including bootleg remixes and mashups. Because more details have not come out, it’s very unclear how this will impact creators of that type of content.

We’re also not sure how this will vary from country to country. In fact, the interview gives almost no specifics on how this will be implemented. At the time this article was published, Soundcloud’s press contacts have not responded to a request for details. So we’re going to test it ourselves, right now:

Previously Taken Down DJ Mixes, Reuploaded!

All mixes below were uploaded with permission of the original DJ who made the mix. We’re including the original upload date and a link to the takedown notice if available. We want to add yours! Keep reading…

#1. Orem’s “Tribal Minimix”
Taken down 9/11/12, reuploaded at 1:15PM PST on 12/12/16
“It’s a short (8 min approx) tribal house set recorded from all vinyl and uploaded back in 2012 to Soundcloud. […] Takedown took a little under 3 weeks.”

#2. Steve Brabazon’s “Not Too DAFT After All!”
Taken down 11/10/2014, reuploaded at 1:42PM PST on 12/12/16
This mix has a number of Daft Punk songs in it, so we’ll be interested to see if it is allowed to stay up since these are easily recognizable.

#3. Kid Stylez’s “THE FEELZ”
Taken down 6/2/2015, reuploaded at 2:22PM PST on 12/12/16

#4. ASTC’s “2016 : A Groove Odyssey #1”
Original takedown notice, reuploaded at 2:59PM PST on 12/12/16

#5. SKNE’s “SPF60”
Taken down 8/10/2015, reuploaded 4:16PM PST on 12/12/16

#6. Blueshift’s “Dusk Till Done Guestmix”
Original takedown notice, reuploaded at 6:15PM PST on 12/12/16

#7. Ilir Soleil’s “Live @ Café Opera, Sthlm” Mix
Original takedown notice, reuploaded 6:20
Adding to the variety of mix types – here’s one that was recorded live in a club. According to Ilir, it has been taken down three separate times from his account.

#8. Slingshot Sound System’s “VIP Mix 2009”
Taken down 8/5/2014; reuploaded at 6:10PM on 12/13/16

#9. Dave King’s “Personal Classics”
Originally uploaded 12/31/2011, taken down in 2015, reuploaded at 6:18PM on 12/13/16
This one has a lot of highly recognizable songs in it – is a mix like this safe on Soundcloud as the founder claims?

#10. Kyzer Mania’s “House Paradox #002”
Takendown one year ago, reuploaded at 6:55PM on 12/13/16
Interestingly this is a case where the identified infringing track is actually an official remix that Kyzer himself did… let’s see what happens.

#11. Sleeper’s “8 Minutes Of Moombahton”
Takedown on 8/18/15, reuploaded at 4:00PM on 12/14/16. Watch this mix performed live here.

Have a DJ Mix That Was Taken Down?

We’ve gotten a LOT of responses! I’ll keep uploading them as the week goes on.

We want to upload it on our Soundcloud account to find out how this new policy works. As an added bonus, we’ll post it in this article, allowing everyone to see if it stays up.

To get involved, send an email to mixes (at) djtechtools (dot) com:

  • with a link to the original mix file, uploaded to dropbox / google drive / similar
  • ideally include a screenshot of the takedown notice (email or in Soundcloud’s messages)
  • send along your artist name, tracklist, and mix description as well!

Image credit: background photo for header, credit to Averie Woodard on Unsplash.com

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  • Die neue benutzerdefinierte Wiedergabeliste von SoundCloud bietet lizenzfreie Mashups - Moyens I/O

    […] SoundCloud stützte sich ursprünglich auf unabhängige Entwickler, aber in den letzten Jahren haben sich viele in der Community anderswo umgesehen. Da Streaming physische Alben als primäre Methode des Musikkonsums ersetzte, konnte SoundCloud den sich schnell ändernden Anforderungen der Branche an das Urheberrecht nicht gerecht werden. Die Unfähigkeit, mit der Sampling- und Remix-Kultur umzugehen, führte zu einer hohen Belastung durch die Unterdrückung von Streiks – SoundClouds Bezeichnung für Fälle von Urheberrechtsverletzungen – mit einem System, das war (und immer noch ist). unzuverlässig, trotz der Bemühungen, einige Grauzoneninhalte wie DJ-Mixe zuzulassen. […]

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    […] SoundCloud first endeared itself with independent creators, but in recent years, many from the community have looked elsewhere. As streaming replaced physical albums as a primary method of music consumption, SoundCloud couldn’t keep up with the industry’s quickly changing demands around copyright. Its inability to deal with sampling and remix culture led to a heavy hand with doling out strikes — SoundCloud’s term for instances of copyright infringement — with a system that was (and still is) unreliable, despite efforts to allow some gray area content like DJ mixes. […]

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    […] SoundCloud first endeared itself with independent creators, but in recent years, many from the community have looked elsewhere. As streaming replaced physical albums as a primary method of music consumption, SoundCloud couldn’t keep up with the industry’s quickly changing demands around copyright. Its inability to deal with sampling and remix culture led to a heavy hand with doling out strikes — SoundCloud’s term for instances of copyright infringement — with a system that was (and still is) unreliable, despite efforts to allow some gray area content like DJ mixes. […]

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  • SoundCloud’s new personalized playlist is serving up unlicensed mashups | WorldNewsBuz

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  • Socratic Oath

    Soundcloud is a cluster f!@#, you can’t trust them with DJ mixes. They continue to take down some dj mixes to this day. Just upload to mixcloud or hearthisat.

  • AEK

    I uploaded a mix two weeks ago with The Devastator & Noodles remix of Partition by Beyonce in it. Hasn’t been taken down, no strike, no nothing. US resident, too.

  • calgarc

    soundcloud is that girlfriend who dumped you but now wants you back… months after you found someone else…

  • Rob van Erp

    I have a pro user account and about 12 Techno mixes online and adding about 1 a month, never had a problem with them….

  • Sir Force

    Why all the press for soundcloud. This site has not been DJ Friendly. Is this an unbiased story without incentive from soundcloud? Soundcloud certainly was not kind to me as a paying subscriber, I deleted my mixes and cancelled my account after several were taken down. Not returning. There are other options. The least they could do for their subscribers would be to remove all strikes and reinstate the mixes previously taken down with all of the stats like another user mentioned below. Don’t believe the hype.

  • Systms

    would love to see you guys take this even farther and try uploading some bootleg remixes!!!

    I haven’t suffered from that but was on the verge of creating a second account – lots producers have created a second page for content that could potentially cost them a strike.

  • Mark Smith

    While this may be possible now I’ll never return as a paid subscriber to the platform and I’ll never attempt to use Soundcloud to upload mixes and live sets. After my last experience no way.

  • Chaser720

    I would use caution when trying this out. I know of several people that have gotten three strikes and had their accounts pulled. One of them had over 5K followers.

  • Will Silvano Martinez

    I’ve already deleted all but one mix from Soundcloud, migrated all others to Mixcloud, and stopped paying for Soundcloud services two years ago. Too friggin’ late, Soundcloud.

    • Jeroen Krieger

      Same here!! I stopped paying 9,99 a month and just one mix online. Also went to Mixcloud and you tube. I even started using facebook as a live stream platform.

  • Callum Blackmore

    Would this mean I can dispute copyright claims on previous mixes? I’ve got 2 strikes on my account from mixes that I’ve put up and I kinda want to get them off my account

    • Christopher Allen

      yea. realistically they need to go on our accounts, remove mix related strikes, and re-enable the mixes with the stats before they were removed.

      • Socratic Oath

        that’s not gonna happen lol

        • Christopher Allen

          Of course not haha. Then people will be crying for their deleted accounts back and-slippery slope