Over a million “manipulated” versions of copyrighted tracks found on streaming platforms

today22/01/2024 4

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A new study has discovered over a million “manipulated” versions of tracks on streaming platforms, many unlicensed by copyright owners.

Tech company Pex has analysed tracks across streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and TIDAL to find that these “manipulated” tracks usually do not have the legal licensing to be used.

Many of the tracks have been sped-up, slowed down or otherwise “manipulated”, and include the likes of Lady Gaga‘s ‘Bloody Mary‘ reaching 25 million streams and Childish Gambino’s ‘Heartbeat’ at 19 million streams.

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As Pex reports, these versions are claimed to be committing music fraud and could even be taking “millions” from the rightful copyright owners in royalties.

Speaking with Music Business World, Pex CEO Rasty Turek says: “From our research, at least 1% of all music has some kind of modified audio, and the existing systems are not catching that up.”

“So that means at least 1% of all music is misattributed and misappropriated in that sense. And… this means a lot of artists are essentially mis-paid [given how much] they are played.”

Turek adds: “There is [a] huge following of people trying to essentially enjoy content like this. Nightcore mixes, and so on. And I do think that there is a legitimate seed to the movement. If people enjoy this kind of music, they should absolutely have access to it.”

“But at the same time, proper attribution should be required. And this is much more up to the platforms and services than it is up to the artist to essentially go and fish out.”

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Last year, Spotify announced it would change its royalties structure, with reports claiming it will pay less royalties to less-popular artists.

Music Business Worldwide reported that the streaming service plans to raise the threshold for royalty payments to 1000 plays per track.

According to Billboard, the streaming service giant will “de-monetize tracks that had previously received 0.5% of Spotify’s royalty pool.”

Read the full report surrounding “manipulated” tracks from Pex here.Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitte

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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