DJs and producers have been fighting a losing battle for years now when trying to find a home for their remixes and mixtapes that won’t immediately be struck down by copyright breaches for every song and sample.
Illegal uploads to SoundCloud were a popular option at first, but artists soon began to see their work get pursued more fiercely by the site’s “automated takedown identification” as its profile grew. Sure, SoundCloud has since worked things out with rightsholders to prevent these breaches but, considering the site’s poor outlook for this year, people are still looking for other options – namely, current streaming kings Spotify and Apple Music.
In steps Dubset, a company with the mantra of “making mix and remix distribution simple and legal”, to hopefully save the day. As Tech Crunch reports, the company has raised $4m USD in an effort to sort out some of the legal hurdles that make it tough to host a remix or mixtape, and allow them to come to the big streaming platforms in a completely legal fashion.
It appears that mixes and remixes are intended to go through a Dubset approval process, in which the legalities are worked out with the rightsholders of any samples or included songs, and then the fully-cleared product is able to be hosted on Spotify or Apple Music.
Dubset’s remixes are beginning to appear on the services already, although mixtapes/recorded DJ sets are still on the way. Most likely, approval for a remix of a single track is easier to attain than the web of approvals required for a multi-track mix set.
“This year will be huge in opening up this ecosystem,” Dubset CEO Stephen White told Tech Crunch. “We have some very big labels and publishers about to join.”
The $4m in funding will apparently allow the company to “scale operations to onboard the thousands of labels and publishers already signed up and get the rest on board.”
The Dubset service all hinges on its ‘audio fingerprinting’ tech, which has been in development since the company was founded in 2010, and can easily pick out each and every sample used in a song or mix from a database of 100 million recordings, calculate the appropriate royalties, and send them on their way.
Automating this process would introduce another stream of revenue for steadily-remixed artists, and allow DJs and producers the freedom to work with whichever recordings they please without fear of takedown complaints or legal wrongdoing.
If services like Dubset can get this idea off the ground, we may see Spotify and Apple filling in that gap that SoundCloud has done its best to occupy so far – and see a great result for everyone involved.