What Should You Do if Someone Steals Your Track?

Recently, a producer friend of mine called Bound To Divide discovered that four of his tracks were stolen and self-released by another artist. To make things worse, another one of his tracks was partially stolen by a big producer and signed by one of the biggest melodic techno labels, and that was simply no fun. A lot of producers asked me what to do, so I decided to write this post to help you out if this ever happens to you.

4 THOUGHTS FROM ME

1. First, and most importantly, DON’T react with verbal or online violence. When something like this happens to you, you’ll likely want to ‘seek revenge’ and/or would be willing to attack the producer who robbed you, but, as Bound To Divide said to me, “it’s a good idea to take a step back and think for at least a day about how you are going to react to (and deal with) this”. When you’re feeling angry, your decisions and actions will reflect your anger, and that’s often not the best way to react and possibly not the best image to display to your audience, especially if you’re the rightsholder of the song. Take a moment to cool down and when you’re ready to talk, “stick to the facts of what happened. Lay it all out in as much truth as possible and let people form their own opinions about what happened”, but don’t call them names or act violently with the other producer as this could possibly show a side of you that I’m sure you won’t like to display to your fans. You should try to avoid this becoming a fight, especially if it involves a label. Remember the person who is right in this place, so stick to the facts and things hopefully will get solved.

2. Collect all the information you can about it and make your case. When Bound to Divide got his track stolen, he made a statement on his Instagram with facts and comparisons showing exactly why he thinks his tracks were stolen. First, gathering all the information and showing proof that your track was stolen and that it belongs to you will be necessary if you have to take legal action on it. You will have to present screenshots, videos, and why you believe the track was stolen. In addition to that, when/if you make a post/statement to your community, this info will also help you build trust in your case among your community and many others who might stumble upon your post. For example, in this post, I saw some big artist and label A&Rs commenting they would add the producer who robbed the song to a ‘blacklist’, but that all happened because of the strong point Bound to Divide made. But, if the point from Bound To Divide wasn’t convincing enough, I’m sure that could possibly damage his image among his subscribers. Therefore, after calming down, start collecting data and all the information you can to prove your point and solve this situation with streaming platforms, especially if you’re planning to make a statement to get your community involved as well.

3. Before taking any legal action, get in touch with the people who stole your track first and try to solve this without ‘taking it to court’. As with any negotiation that could escalate into legal actions, try to achieve an agreement before getting into a fight with the person who robbed your song. Get their contact and politely try to contact them explaining that they don’t have the rights to use your song, partially or entirely, on a release, especially if they’ve released it on Streaming Platforms. Second, ask them if they can take the songs down from these platforms before you take any legal actions to take the song down, and some will do so without question, sometimes even saying they are sorry. If he/she doesn’t answer you or responds negatively, that’s when the info you collected on point #2 will come in extremely handy to provide to the streaming platforms to prove that you’re the rightsholder and that he/she is infringing your rights. If you also find out which distributor the artist used, you can also file a complaint with the distributor as this could speed up the process and take that release down from all platforms. Or, if the song was distributed by a label, email the label to inform them of the situation and this hopefully will be solved by the label in goodwill, as happened with Bound To Divide’s track.

4. Try to take a positive out of this horrible situation. The support Bound To Divide got from his community, other artists, and label A&Rs showed that the value he has as an artist and as the content created is much greater than the songs he got stolen, and that’s one thing he mentioned that he appreciated out of this whole bad situation. However, at the same time, he mentioned that it is hard to take much positivity when you’re going through a situation like this. But, remember… worst case scenario, it’s just one song, and you can always make another & potentially better one. It should hurt to see your track that was stolen by another artist being played on major festivals and being signed on major labels, but this is just more proof that you can write good music, and that is something that artist who robbed you can’t steal from you.

1 QUESTION FOR YOU

Should you stop sharing your music online to avoid getting your tracks stolen?
1. The positives of sharing always outweigh the negatives, so definitely DON’T stop sharing them. First, getting tracks stolen is not something so common that you should be worried about. It happens, but you have much more to lose by not sharing your tracks for feedback because you’re afraid of being stolen. Just make sure to share your content with the right people and you’ll be fine.
2. Don’t be afraid of feedback livestreams, or try to share your songs privately. Many producers were afraid of my latest live stream to share their songs, but that shouldn’t happen. It’s a lot harder to replicate a sound from a live stream than when you share the whole production project.
3. Be careful when sharing your projects online via streaming. After more than 4 years of streaming weekly online, this only happened a few times to Bound To Divide and the support, community, and growth this has brought to him over time far outweighs the problem that happened. However, you have to be aware that it can happen when you stream online. Therefore, if you still want to stream your content, use platforms that won’t hold the content for long, like Discord communities or Twitch.

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Leo Lauretti

Leo Lauretti

Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Leo Lauretti has been producing since 2013. With releases on SONY Music, Armada, Enhanced Music, Leo Lauretti accumulates multiple supports from artists like Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten, Cosmic Gate, Nicky Romero, and many others all over the world.

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