Steven Boyett writes, "Universal now has direct access to flag Soundcloud accounts for removal when it believes an uploaded file infringes copyright, with no intervention by Soundcloud. Universal doesn't even inform Soundcloud part of the upload was believed to be infringing; they simply have carte blanche removal authority."
What's more, Universal gets to pick and choose which infringers they censor, which means that indie radio DJs who upload their sets get kicked off Soundcloud altogether (for violating the company's "three strikes" rule), while BBC radio shows that are equally infringing are left untouched, because Universal doesn't want to upset a major partner.
The most interesting move, though, is one that nobody is really speaking on–and it’s the most frightening. SoundCloud seems to have given Universal the keys to the car within the last month, and is allowing the media giant full access to flag accounts’ records without any communication whatsoever with SoundCloud. We’ve seen an insane wave of song removals, copyright notifications, and account terminations on behalf of SoundCloud in the past month, but seeing that majors now have back end access to systematically scrape all of their content without having to answer to anyone is crazy.
(Image: Execution of Beatrice Cenci, public domain, LoC/Wikimedia Commons)