In this era of big business its seems to be the norm when the contract terms favor the company rather than the user, even to the detriment of the user. Usually we blindly accept those terms, but if the latest SoundCloud kerfuffle proves anything, it’s that fighting back can sometimes bring about some needed change. After much pushback on its user agreement for artists subscribing to its self-monetization program called SoundCloud Premier, the company has actually gone ahead and changed the terms that had so many artists riled up.
The biggest bone of contention was a clause that made it impossible for a user to sue the company over some of the other issues that were vague in the contract, like how much and when an artist would be paid.
To its credit, SoundCloud promptly removed the “do not sue” language as well as all mention of mandatory arbitration. It also clarified the other clauses in contention. Now the company clearly states that it will pay an artist 55% of the ad revenue within 45 days of receipt. The company has also removed a provision where the artist had to reach $100 in accrued royalties before a payment would be made.
Another big item that’s been changed is the fact that the company is now required to notify you within 2 weeks of any changes to the agreement. Before it was up to the user to stay informed as it stated, “It is Your responsibility to check these Terms and Conditions on the Platform from time to time for updates.”
The fact of the matter is that the leverage is all with user when it comes to SoundCloud. The service needs creators to stay loyal in order to stay in business, and business isn’t good enough these days to be able to shed any over vague contract language. For once the little guy wins.
Go here for more info and to read the actual new agreement if you haven’t already.