Copyright issues: Soundcloud could be in legal trouble

Various major labels are reportedly preparing to collaborate for a legal action against Soundcloud. According to US magazine Digital Music News, which is relying on an confidential sources, Soundcloud could be in trouble for copyright infringements.

Soundcloud has not yet publicly commented on the situation, but it appears, according to the report, that it has already entered into legal discussions about licensing issues.

Soundcloud currently uses a loophole in the „Digital Millennium Copyright Act“, whereby immunity is granted to websites hosting user-uploaded content. As long as the file that was uploaded by a third party can be removed by the originator, Soundcloud cannot be held accountable for copyright violations. The respective copyright owner is therefore responsible for notifying the online platform – Soundcloud – in the case of an offence.

Despite these legal obstacles, the major labels appear to be optimistic about their approach. As stated by the Digital Music News‘ anonymous sources, „Unlike Google and YouTube, they can be touched.“ One factor is Soundcloud being significantly smaller and less powerful than major content hosters – meaning that it does not have the financial resources to withstand such a strike.

It remains unclear why this legal process is only taking place now, and not years ago. And will a music platform like SoundCloud be able to deal with a barrage of takedown commands from major labels?

Feature image: LISBON, PORTUGAL – FEBRUARY 8, 2014: Photo of SoundCloud homepage on a monitor screen through a magnifying glass. via Shutterstock / Urheberrecht: Gil C

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