Copyright methods and notifications
We care about ensuring that artists and copyright owners have the tools they need to control how their work appears on SoundCloud. Reading further you will understand more about the tools we have in place today — both automated and manual — and how we are using these to look out for the rights of creators.
Automated content identification and manual takedowns on SoundCloud
SoundCloud has used automated content identification on SoundCloud since 2010. Here’s how it works: when you upload a track, our system checks your upload against a database of tracks that copyright owners have asked us to block. If the system detects a match, then your upload is blocked, because that’s what the copyright owner has asked us to do. We also run the system in the background to make sure that we’re picking up infringing content on an ongoing basis after upload. If the system detects a match, the track will be automatically removed.
In addition to the automated system, we have a manual takedown process. Manual takedowns happen when people submit a report directly using our webform, which can be found by clicking on the ‘Report Copyright Infringement’ button that appears on every track page. Anyone can report a copyright infringement if they are the relevant copyright owner or their authorized representative, and every report has the same result: the reported content is taken down from SoundCloud while the dispute is resolved. In some cases, copyright owners can takedown content from SoundCloud directly using a specific takedown tool. This tool has been available for several years, and provides the most effective means for copyright owners to takedown unauthorized content.
Copyright warnings and terminations
If we receive a valid notification from a third party in accordance with our reporting processes or applicable law that any of your content infringes the copyright, we will take the respective content down and send you a written notification to your registered email address asking you to clarify your rights by filing a dispute. If you do not successfully dispute the takedown - that is if you did not dispute the takedown after 7 days or if your dispute has been rejected -, we will send you a copyright warning to this effect via email and you will collect a strike to your account. Any user that receives more than two of these warnings is liable to have their access to the platform terminated forthwith.
Copyright owners are not able to terminate anyone’s account — only SoundCloud can do this, and we will do it if we receive repeated reports of infringement. Whether a copyright owner takes down content directly, or reports it to us for takedown, the result is the same: the content is taken down until the dispute can be resolved.
Important: SoundCloud has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the unauthorized publication of unreleased music. We will also suspend or terminate any account found liable of sharing unreleased copyright protected material.
We will also suspend or terminate your account without warning if ordered to do so by a court, and/or in other appropriate circumstances, as determined by SoundCloud at its discretion.