Uncategorized

Soundcloud Terms – more rights fuzziness

By Gavin, 21st November 2008

I’ve been a SoundCloud member since Feb 2008. My most recent login threw up a “we have new T+Cs” message with no option to continue unless you said yes. Here’s the standard stuff

1.  USER hereby grants SOUNDCLOUD and its successors and assigns a worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free, fully paid up, license to use, copy, transmit or otherwise distribute, publicly perform, digitally perform, publicly display, distribute, stream, download and/or otherwise make USER’s Content available to other users of SOUNDCLOUD’s Website and Services.
2. USER also grants each and every other registered user of SOUNDCLOUD’s Website a worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free, fully paid up, license to use, copy, transmit or otherwise distribute, publicly perform, digitally perform, publicly display, distribute, stream, download USER’s content and/or otherwise to make USER’s Content available to other users of SOUNDCLOUD’s Website and Services as set forth herein.

Which is all very predictable and quite hard to avoid if you do anything online – the usual definition of “Service” as “anything we want” is normal, if questionable. Now here’s the interesting bit;

3. This license does not grant SOUNDCLOUD the right to sell USER’s Content or otherwise distribute it outside of SOUNDCLOUD’s Website or Services, provided however, that streaming of Content on third party Websites via embedded widgets or the SOUNCLOUD Application Programming Interface (API) or similar tools shall not be deemed a distribution outside of SOUNDCLOUD’s Website or Service.

which on the surface looks necessesary for them to offer an API, however the way it’s worded means that they are explicitly carving out the ability to distribute USER’s Content via the API… and who’s to say they can’t charge for ads on such streaming (and you’d expect the sites embedding the streams to sell ads). Another good example of the deal-flow from £ to content-producer still not being realised.

Disclaimer