Is SoundCloud Cracking Down on Silence?


SoundCloud has gotten on a lot of people’s nerves for a lot of reasons; fans, performers and labels have all been up in arms about one development or another on the SoundCloud front at some point. But the DJ community has its own brand of ire for the company, mostly because of SoundCloud’s crack-down policy on remixes. Well, it seems that DJ Detweiler decided to draw them out about it with a confrontational semi-prank. In an attempt to “start a conversation about copyright for fun,” he uploaded his remix of John Cage’s famous conceptual piece “4′ 33.”

As many people already know, Cage’s piece is notorious for simply being four minutes and 33 seconds of silence. And lo and behold, SoundCloud allegedly took it down, just as Detweiler was expecting. But in their defense, they claim that it wasn’t simply a silent track, that it incorporated parts of a Justin Bieber tune, thereby entering into copyright infringement territory. Detweiler’s wry response was to take down all his other SoundCloud tracks and replace them with satirical messages ribbing the company and mocking their copyright policies. Whichever side you take on the topic, one thing is for sure — the copyright wars between SoundCloud and the DJ world have only just begun.

Jim Allen

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