Copyright is a word that pops up a lot in the music industry and on the internet - and maybe you’ve seen it on SoundCloud if you’re reading the fine print - but what exactly does it mean?
Copyright is legal protection for original works (e.g., music, books or movies) – like the original content you’re uploading to SoundCloud. Anytime you create something and share it publicly, there’s a chance that someone else might like it so much that they try to take it and make it their own. Copyright protects your work and ensures this doesn’t happen to you.
The moment a piece of work is created, copyright protection is automatically granted to the owner of the work AKA the rightsholder. Copyright gives a creator exclusive rights to make copies, distribute, perform or display the work publicly, or make “derivative works” such as modifications or alterations of the work (like a remix).
It’s important to us because a) it’s the law, and we’re required to comply in order to exist as a platform for expression, and b) because we respect creators and want their work to be recognized and protected.
Copyright infringement is when someone else’s work is used without permission. If we receive an infringement report from a rightsholder, we are required to take down the reported content in order to be in compliance with copyright law. If the infringer is not able to resolve their dispute with the rightsholder, they will be issued a strike. Just like baseball, it’s a “three strikes and you’re out” policy, and accounts with three strikes will be terminated.