SoundCloud Slammed Over Premier Artist Contract

first_imgUPDATED: In the 11 years since it was founded as a platform for DJs to post their mixes, SoundCloud has become so popular that a genre of hip-hop was named after it. But the company struggled in its efforts to become a fully-licensed, above-ground platform, and nearly went out of business last year before reorganizing under new CEO Kerry Trainor. Since he took the helm, the company has worked to streamline its platform for artists via a partnership with rights-clearance organization Dubset and last week finally launching its long-in-the-works Premier program, which allows artists to upload and monetize their content without a record label or aggregator. (Spotify recently announced a similar program, currently in beta.)Its contract for Premier came under harsh scrutiny in an article The Verge posted Friday morning under the headline “SoundCloud’s New Artist Contract Is a Raw Deal for Musicians.” In it, the publication pointed out several restrictive elements in the contract around its payment dates and percentages, and particularly in that artists are asked to sign away their rights to sue SoundCloud. The contract, which is available to all eligible for Premier membership (although full details are apparently not available until a person actually signs up), was provided to The Verge by an artist named Sweeps. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 SoundCloud contested some of the claims, albeit in a broad sense, in a statement provided to Variety Friday afternoon. “The SoundCloud Premier monetization program operates on a fixed net revenue share of 55% and monthly royalty payments paid net 45 days to creators, which exceeds most other platforms,” it reads. “SoundCloud Premier is completely non-exclusive, the creator always retains all their content rights, and reserves the right to exit the agreement at any time. We are always looking for ways to simplify our agreements for the benefit of our creator community, and will take the opportunity here to avoid future confusion.”According to the Verge report, points in SoundCloud’s Premier agreement include:*The broad release of all claims against the company (called a “covenant not to sue”) and a mandatory arbitration clause. Artists who sign the agreement agree to never sue SoundCloud or assist in someone else’s lawsuit against SoundCloud, and to take any disputes to arbitration instead of court — including legal action over any past illegal use of the artist’s recordings by SoundCloud, and if the artist leaves the Premier program or SoundCloud. Tunecore and YouTube have similar terms, although The Verge reports that Spotify’s contract does not.*SoundCloud may make changes to its payment program — including changes in rates, fees and even closing it completely — at any time without advance notice, or any notice at all. “It is Your responsibility,” the agreement says, “to check these Terms and Conditions on the Platform from time to time for updates.”*The payment schedule is hazy: While the promotional wording says artists will be paid each month, the contract states that SoundCloud may elect to pay artists only when they reach $100 in revenue. The contract says that “SoundCloud will calculate Your Net Revenues on a monthly, quarterly or another accounting period basis SoundCloud elects to use.” This is a fairly common practice with record labels. *Similarly, there is a lack of clarity about how streams on different platforms are monetized, with a reference to revenues on a “tier by tier basis” that suggests streams by free users may pay less than ones from paying users.*The contract gives artists six months to audit or challenge statements after they are issued, less than the industry standard of two years.The covenant not to sue in particular was criticized by attorneys contacted by the publication. Jeff Becker, an entertainment and media attorney at Swanson, Martin & Bell, said, “This agreement will allow artists to monetize the exploitation of their music on SoundCloud only if the artist agrees to forego all existing claims he or she may have against the company,” adding that it is “unusual, at best, for a platform to open their terms and conditions with a provision that requires the artist to entirely release it of all prior violations and infringements committed by that platform.”Lita Rosario, an attorney who represents Missy Elliott and Sisqo, added, “If you find that SoundCloud didn’t send you the amount of money you’re owed, you’re prohibited from suing them for breach of contract,” Rosario says. “I don’t see how they can have someone agree in advance that they’re not going to be able to sue them for failing to pay an account.”“I think the broad release of claims and covenant not to sue will be challenged in court,” Rosario continued. “The language is much too broad.” Popular on Variety last_img read more

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Last season the Arizona Cardinals led the league

first_imgLast season, the Arizona Cardinals led the league in yards and finished second in the NFL in points scored.They accumulated the second-most passing yards, trailing only the New Orleans Saints, and notched the eighth-most rushing yards, too.In summation, their offense was good. Very, very good.Their offense was also incredibly diverse, with contributions coming from many different players. Nine different players caught at least one touchdown pass, while four different running backs reached the end zone. QB Carson Palmer threw 35 touchdown passes and also ran for a score. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires So, when ESPN’s Bill Barnwell decided to produce a piece ranking the NFL’s offensive triplets, it’s understandable if you’d have a difficult time guessing who he chose for the Cardinals.His parameters were that a QB had to be chosen for every team, while the other two spots were up for grabs between the other skill positions.For the Cardinals, he chose Palmer along with receivers Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown, and then ranked that trio fifth in the entire NFL behind the Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.You could swap out Brown for Michael Floyd or promising halfback David Johnson, but any grouping of Arizona’s triplets has to include Fitzgerald, who underwent a career renaissance after moving into the slot on a more regular basis. Fitz was up to 66 targets in the slot last year, with those targets producing 52 catches (for a ridiculous 78.8 percent catch rate) and three touchdowns. Fitzgerald averaged 75.9 receiving yards per game, topping 75 yards per game for just the second time since his career season in 2008. You might expect Palmer, 36, to decline after a standout 2015 campaign, but that seemed to be the case after 2014, when Palmer played well before tearing his ACL, and he only got better instead. Even if Palmer doesn’t lead the league in Total QBR, as he did with an 82.1 mark last year, the Cardinals should be a devastating downfield attack yet again under Bruce Arians.One of the more exciting aspects of the Cardinals’ offense, at least in terms of how 2015 may impact 2016, is that the only changes to last year’s group are along the offensive line. Every player who threw a pass, caught a ball or ran for yards has returned, which lends credence to the idea that the Cardinals could reasonably take another step forward. Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Of course, while head coach Bruce Arians is excited about having everyone back because everything runs smoother, he is also careful to make sure he does not try to change too much just because everyone returned.“You have to watch from overloading that part and ask them to do too much; just refine what we do and do it a little bit better — a few tweaks here and there,” the coach said. “And they understand because they’re watching themselves from all of last year and what we did really, really well, and what we did not so well.“So it’s more of a tweaking that part than adding more stuff. You can overload them and then I don’t want them re-learning, or learning new stuff. That’s why I thought we practiced so fast this spring.”last_img read more

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