Guest Blog: Soundcloud And Maintaining Control Of Your Music

Posted by on November 2, 2012

Mark Lafay runs a technology/creative firm in Indianapolis and also a blog, marklafay.com. This article is reprinted from there with his permission.

Ever heard of the site, SoundCloud?  They claim to be the “world’s leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere. ”  It’s a great site that is hyper-focused on creation and sharing of audio files.  If you’re a musician, you can post songs for the masses to download, stream and share, or you can collaborate with other musicians privately.

Recently SoundCloud merged with another company called Getty Images.  Getty images started out distributing images and then grew to include video clips and now with the merger w/ SoundCloud, they do audio.

Since the merger, SoundCloud now offers artists a licensing service through Getty Images network.  The way licensing works is this:  Getty Images will negotiate licenses for your material, on your behalf. You receive 35% of the upfront license fee + 50% of the publisher share of all residual revenue generated.  Essentially it’s a non-exclusive co-publishing agreement with a bad split on the upront license fee. Read more about it here.

Be wary of the agreement though.  To participate in the program, you must relinquish complete control over the manner in which your music is exploited.  Read below:

Do I get to approve where and when my song can be used?

No. Your agreement with Getty Images Music allows us to license your music to any client who is willing to pay money for its use. The agreement you sign pre-clears all of your music for potential licensing. Pre-clearance is a strong selling point for our clients who are more likely to use music that causes them less hassle.

If you don’t want your art being used to sell tampons, cars, votes or adult diapers, then you may want to think long and hard about this before you sign away your rights.  This is a good reminder to always read the fine print from start to finish, especially when it impacts your brand.

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Categorised in: Guest Blog, Licensing