Swedish online audio distribution platform – SoundCloud will possibly be forced to shut down their services as they face major copyright infringement lawsuits from giant music labels including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA).
This move comes just before SoundCloud’s plan to switch from a free user platform to a subscription-based one. SoundCloud’s CEO, Alexander Ljung has earned a reputation for being a Robin Hood of sorts in the music industry, primarily because of his insistence on maintaining a free tier for his users. The site also pays advertising revenue to its contributors.
The Sweden-founded service established in 2007 started as an unlicensed free music service where artists were encouraged to share music and discover new artists, but in recent times it has been edging into the mainstream market.
After the service began to draw music listeners away from the bigger labels, uploaders have recently found that their content is being blocked based on copyright claims.