Global distribution for infringing remixes….

03Sep12

In mid-August, global audio hosting network SoundCloud announced a move to utilize one-click payment system, Ayden. While the website already offers a Buy feature for it’s premium subscribers, it’s worth noting the choice was made for ease of payment across national lines:

“SoundCloud says it chose Adyen because it needed a payment and fraud management solution that could scale globally, and one that could support multiple currencies. Adyen supports 100 payment methods across Europe, USA, Asia and Latin America. The “cultural fit” of the two companies is also being talked up — they are both European neighbours after all.”

As a blurring of the geographical lines for means of distribution can be seen in such an effort, I am left curious of the inevitable entanglement of Intellectual Property rights and profitability of copyrighted material in remixed and mash-up tracks posted by users. As a user/creator within SoundCloud, I find a wide range quality of recorded and remix tracks as well as the emergence and propagation of new genres. As Dueze (2009) states:

“It is important to note that much of this culturally convergent content not only dissolves the distinctions between the producer and consumer of media, but in many cases also blurs the institutional lines drawn between the professional and the amateur (p21)…[P]eople seem to be increasingly willing to participate voluntarily in the mediamaking process to achieve what can be called a “networked reputation.”(p22) … Lev Manovich (2005) calls this a “culture of remix and remixability,” where user-generated content exists both within and outside of commercial contexts, and supports as well as subverts corporate control.(p23)”

A prime example of a creator/user who has gain global viability is the electronic music artist Pretty Lights (PL). Having pulled from seemingly every existent format of music, PL creates innovated and inspired albums chalk full of copyrighted material. To avoid royalty and legal complications, he offers all of his professional mixed and arranged albums free for download on his website.

Ayden/SoundCloud article: http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/13/monetization-baby-soundcloud-planning-to-let-users-sell-tracks-adyen-chosen-to-power-payments/

Pretty Lights: http://prettylightsmusic.com/#/home

-Garrett Poortinga

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