As we're all acutely aware, SoundCloud has not had a great year. Pretty much every single person who uses it on a professional level has had untold trouble with tracks being removed, often unfairly. But their overzealous approach to copyright infringement hasn't come from a penchant for irking its userbase; the Performing Rights Society for Music (PRS) have been challenging the service over the remuneration of artists and the service's refusal to obtain a PRS licence for its service in the UK and Europe.
PRS eventually began legal proceedings against SoundCloud, citing five years of failed negotiations. Since then, the two parties entered a period of "intense discussion and negotiation", culminating in the recent news: they've finally reached an agreement with SoundCloud. We've published the announcement below.
"The agreement covers the use of repertoire controlled by PRS for Music since the service launched and is an important step in our quest to achieve a level playing field in the licensing of online services so that songwriters, composers and their music publishers can be paid properly for the use of their music online.
"We believe this agreement to be the best outcome because it sets us on the path towards receiving proper reporting from SoundCloud of their use of your repertoire, enables royalties to be paid and also avoids the cost of legal proceedings.
"Receiving enough accurate data on music uploaded to the platform remains a challenge but SoundCloud have committed to working with us to improve the quality of their reporting over time. We are conscious of the value that many of you derive from using SoundCloud and are pleased to have reached this landmark agreement. Whilst it is only one step along the road to a fully functioning online market, it is an important one. I would like to thank SoundCloud for breaking with the past and agreeing to work with us; a move which we feel is in not only your, but all rightsholders', interests."
PRS For Music have also published a FAQ for members to browse.