News & Events

Chicago, October 30, 2018

Becker Quoted in Variety, The Verge on SoundCloud Premier Artist Contract

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP partner Jeffrey S. Becker was quoted in Variety and The Verge last week regarding SoundCloud and its new Premier program. 

According to the Variety article, "SoundCloud Slammed Over Premier Artist Contract," the program "allows artists to upload and monetize their content without a record label or aggregator." Similar to Variety, The Verge headline states, "SoundCloud's New Artist Contract Is A Raw Deal for Musicians." The Verge says, "But while self-monetization purports to offer a more fair alternative to the traditional label system, SoundCloud’s deal pushes artists into restrictive terms, with ambiguous payment dates and payout percentages that can change at any time. Even worse, artists are asked to sign away all rights to sue the company, giving them no good options for contesting the deal."

Per Becker's comments in Variety:

"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.'"

To read the full articles in each publication, please visit the links above. 

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