Digital start-up Mixcloud had to confront copyright issues early. WIPR talks to co-founder Nico Perez about how to stay out of trouble as a start-up and why the models need to change.
“When we started out we knew virtually nothing about copyright,” says Nico Perez, co-founder of Mixcloud, a four-year-old online music service that already boasts more than 3 million users a month. A kind of Internet radio, Mixcloud is free to consumers, allowing users to stream but not download content (DJ mixes, for example) uploaded by other users. It’s social media meets music provider: a YouTube for radio.
From knowing nothing about copyright four years ago, Perez is now something of an expert, regularly speaking to European Commission meetings about digital policy and copyright, as well as to industry conferences worldwide. It’s been a steep learning curve, but an essential one.
When Mixcloud started, he says, “we didn’t know anything about licensing, didn’t know who you had to speak to, didn’t know that there were several different copyrights within a musical work, so we all ended up learning about it”. As the person in charge of the product side, Perez took the lead.
Mixcloud, music, copyright, EU commission