If you’re using SoundCloud or YouTube to release mixes or remixes of other people’s work, you run the risk of getting a strike on your account. A strike occurs when the original copyright owner of piece of content issues a takedown request on a track or video that you uploaded. It’s important to remember that strikes are not inherently a bad thing. They exist to protect the work of creators and are necessary for platforms to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). However, if you do find yourself in a situation where your account has received a strike, you should understand how it will affect your account and what you can do about it.
For YouTube, unless a copyright strike occurs on a live stream, it is simply a warning, meaning that your account will not be penalized. In the case where the strike occurs on a live stream, your access to live streaming will be restricted for 90 days. If you receive a strike, here are your options:
- Wait for it to expire: A copyright strike will expire in three months, as long as you complete Copyright School.
- Get a retraction: You can contact the person who issued the strike and ask them to retract it.
- Submit a counter notification: If your video was mistakenly removed because it was misidentified as infringing, or qualifies as a potential fair use, you may wish to submit a counter notification.
The good news is that copyright strikes on YouTube disappear after three months and in most cases, will not negatively affect your channel. The bad news? Well, if you accrue three copyright strikes at any given time, your account will be terminated by YouTube and all of the videos you uploaded to your account will be removed. So, if you do receive a strike, it’s best to play it safe and let them expire, rather than risk getting your account terminated.
Unlike YouTube, if your SoundCloud channel receives a strike and you cannot prove that you have the rights to upload the content, there is no way for it be removed from your account. Also unlike YouTube, on SoundCloud you are given just two strikes before your account is removed permanently.
If you believe the strike is an error, you can email SoundCloud at firstname.lastname@example.org with proof that you have the rights to upload the content in question. For example, you can send them a screenshot of your conversation with the master rightsholder or a copy of your original licensing contract. If you don’t have either of these, you are most likely out of luck.
If you are a DJ and are looking to share your mixes, podcasts or radio shows on the internet, we recommend MixCloud instead of SoundCloud because MixCloud provides its users with a license to broadcast any kind of content without infringement, as long as you meet their terms of usage.