You’ve just dropped your latest music online. You’re pumped. You share your music with everyone you know. Your hard-worked tracks are your pride and joy. And then you receive this: “It looks like your track might contain or be a copy of another artist’s song. Your track has been removed from your profile.”

Looks like you’re facing a copyright claim. What now? Here’s our guide to what you need to know and do when you receive a copyright claim from streaming services.

1. Don’t panic

Receiving a copyright claim doesn’t automatically mean that you’ve “stolen” someone else’s music. What it really means is, according to digital algorithms, the track that you uploaded sounds similar to something else that has already been uploaded. This then triggers an automated copyright claim.

If you’ve made your music using BandLab’s free samples from BandLab Sounds, you might be asking: “But your samples are royalty-free!” Yes – all samples on BandLab Sounds are indeed royalty-free. But there’s a difference between “copyright-free” and “royalty-free”. You can find out more about their differences here.

2. Double-check the contents of your track

As always, you need to take a look at your own track to be doubly sure that it truly isn’t violating any copyright rules. Make sure your beat or song does not include audio, performances or samples that legitimately belong to someone else and you don’t have the permission to use.

If you forked a track on BandLab, reach out to the original creator to see if they uploaded any audio from outside BandLab’s free samples. If they did, check if they had the right to use that audio.

3. Dispute the Copyright claim with your distributor

If you’ve done your checks and you’re confident that the streaming service has made a mistake by pulling your track, these are your next steps.

  1. Gather information
    1. If you remember the name of the predominant sample pack or Looper you used in your track, it will be helpful to get the link to it on the BandLab Sounds page
    2. Copy or provide the link to BandLab’s description of our royalty-free service, BandLab Sounds.
  2. Respond to the Distributor’s email.

Below are just some of the services that may have sent you a copyright claim email. Here’s your best way to respond to them.

Landr  – Here’s what Landr’s email looks like. All you need to do is simply reply to the email with the above information in point 1.

Hey there, 

Thanks for releasing with LANDR!

You’re receiving this automated email because our system found similar audio on streaming platforms in your release with (your UPC code). If you have already uploaded your proof of rights while building your release, you can disregard this email.

This can be triggered from common samples, instrument presets and instruments.

We totally get that your music is unique and we want to hear about how you created it. We’re here to help you avoid problems with your music after it’s released. 🙂

We just need to double-check that you have permission to use any copyrighted material.

Here’s how to get your release live as quickly as possible.

Reply to this email with:
– Any beat license(s) and proof of payment
– The source of your samples (DAW, sample marketplace, etc.)

If you are moving previously released tracks, reply to this email with:
– The name of your former distributor

Landr copyright claim email

NOTE: When you upload music to Landr, you can prevent copyright claims from happening in the first place by including links to the sound pack and BandLab’s license and royalty policy. When uploading a new track, choose “yes” when you see the prompt “Does this track include licensed content?”  (pictured below) and follow the instructions on the prompt: 

Landr proof of rights

SoundCloud – respond to the email inside your SoundCloud account with the above information you already gathered:

It looks like your track 

(Song title)

might contain or be a copy of (other artist and song) which is owned by (distributor) in certain territories. 

As a result, your track has been removed from your profile for the time being.

– Wait SoundCloud, I think I have the rights to this!

If you think we’ve made a mistake, you can tell us about it by following the link below and filling a dispute. You can file a dispute if:

  • We’ve wrongly identified the track
  • We’ve correctly identified the track, but you have the rights to post this to SoundCloud – for example, because you are the copyright owner or have permission from the copyright owner(s)

If either of these things apply to you, tell us about it here: (Click on this link to reply or simply reply to their email.)

Soundcloud copyright claim email

TuneCore – here’s what TuneCore’s email looks like and you can simply reply to the email with the above information you gathered.

We have determined that there are samples and/or instrumentals on your release that may violate third party rights. Any time you sample any part of a recording you did not record yourself, you MUST have a license from the owner of that original recording.

We understand that it is common practice to create songs using the instruments of another artist on mixtapes. However, when you distribute through TuneCore you must only do this if you have the rights to the instrumentals.

If you have any documentations confirming your rights for all samples and/or instrumentals, please respond to this email with those documents attached.

YouTube – Dispute the claim from inside your YouTube account. 

Find the claim notice and choose the appropriate action under “select action”

YouTube copyright claim

After filling up the dispute claim, all you have to do is wait for a response. In 2-5 days, you’ll usually get a response from the distributor letting you know that your copyright dispute has been accepted and the copyright claim has been removed from your account and track.

Copyrights and Royalties can be confusing, so if you get a copyright claim when attempting to upload music you made on BandLab to services like Spotify or Apple Music, don’t worry.  It does not happen often, and when it does, it can usually be resolved with a simple email. 

Start making music

Read more: Sync licensing: How to license your music for movies, TV, games and ads