Soundcloud Removes Artists Entirely Silent Track Claiming Copyright Infringement

There’s war, famine, social injustice, terrorism, vile politicians who think they can run the world, and then there’s the worse global threat of them all: copyright infringement. I’m not being snarky about copyright infringement because I think it should obviously be allowed, but because it can be taken a little too far sometimes — and Soundcloud has proven that.

The audio distribution website recently removed a track that was four minutes of silence claiming that it was copyright infringement.

The track was titled “John Cage – 4’33” by DJ Detwelier and is an orchestral performance of exactly four minutes and 33 seconds of silence. I guess it’s an artistic statement or some sort of bullcorn that we are supposed to really think about. Either way, it’s silence and apparently there has been a huge debate over the last 60 years on whether or not you can copyright silence. Wow. That claim sounds even dumber when you write it out in a sentence.

This is more about Soundcloud’s process of flagging and taking down music that has violated copyright rules. Apparently, they are basing it more on the title rather than the actual track.

DJ Detwelier’s track isn’t even really completely silent because the track is the natural sounds and shifting of an audience in music venue. So that really can’t be replicated. Who would really want to listen to that anyway? Just let them produce their boring silent track and be done with it.