Interest in DJ set live streams has increased due to COVID-19 quarantines, but the copyright landscape surrounding them remains complicated. Mixcloud intends to simplify it with the timely launch of a fully legal streaming service called Mixcloud Live.
A post to the Mixcloud website shares that the service is still in beta but was rushed out on account of coronavirus restrictions keeping DJs indoors. According to Digital DJ Tips, the platform operates on a different license than other streaming websites that prevents copyright issues from arising. Video and audio-only formats are available, although streams cannot be archived at present.
“We hope that Mixcloud Live brings a little more fun – and maybe some dancing – into your home,” said Mixcloud Co-Founder Nico Perez in a quote obtained by Digital DJ Tips. “Particularly at this time when the world is socially distant, and we all need to feel a bit closer. In addition, we are very focused on helping creators generate more income directly from their fans via their live streams.”
The recent rise of DJ live streams has highlighted inherent issues in other platforms most often used for such purposes. In an email, intellectual property lawyer Davey Jay told Selector that Facebook expressly forbids the use of their products for a “music listening experience,” a category which includes live performances. She wrote:
“It seems to me that a DJ doing a Facebook Live pretty clearly falls within the realm of a ‘music listening experience.’ I’m sure that the next question would be, ‘If it’s not allowed, how are people getting away with it?’ Well, I don’t know for sure, but I can speculate. Maybe the copyright owners aren’t being aggressive because they realize that any benefit they would get from enforcing their rights is outweighed by the PR backlash that would ensue from clamping down on DJs and performers when live music industry while its already suffering so much. Maybe they’re just not catching it because so many people are doing it and Live videos sometimes aren’t saved for future viewing. The fact remains, though, that getting away with something does not change whether its permissible, just like going 20 over the speed limit without getting a ticket doesn’t change the speed limit.”
In order to broadcast a DJ set via Mixcloud Live, users must sign up for Mixcloud Pro and download a separate live streaming software such as OBS Studio, XSplit, Wirecast or Lightstream.
Image credit: cottonbro via Pexels