Sound Cloud took down my transparency recording and wont reinstate it.

I have a friend, Vincent Canfield (aka Gexcolo or VC) who runs an email host from Romania. He has a public phone number which when called, can be heard from a Mumble server associated with the mail host. Normally when I hear the phone ring I start recording in Mumble because the calls are often humorous, but on the 22nd of September 2016 the call that i overheard and recorded was from an FBI agent asking if a gag order would be necessary. I uploaded the phone call to Sound Cloud and alerted other users of the cock.li mail service that the FBI once again tried to gag Vincent Canfield.

I would like to take a moment to point out that the FBI never sent me any gag order or other legal request. I am legally allowed to talk about the phone call.

The recording was posted initially to Sound Cloud and stayed there until February 3, 2017 when It was taken down because it was “in breach of our Terms of Use on the grounds of violating an individual’s right of privacy/publicity without their prior consent.” They then went on to list two parts of their ToU.

The relevant sections of our Terms of Use is highlighted below, for your reference:
(ii) Your Content and the availability thereof on the Platform does not and will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party, including, without limitation, any intellectual property rights, performers’ rights, rights of privacy or publicity, or rights in confidential information.

(viii) You must not use the Platform to upload, post, store, transmit, display, copy, distribute, promote, make available or otherwise communicate to the public:
– any information, Content or other material that violates, plagiarises, misappropriates or infringes the rights of third parties including, without limitation, copyright, trademark rights, rights of privacy or publicity, confidential information or any other right; or

They went on to say that the only way to have the post reinstated would be to “provide us with evidence that you have the necessary consents for both the recording and publishing of this content (e.g. signed release form). ” I don’t expect to get a sign off from the FBI.

VC also did a very excellent write up on his own blog about the issue of taking down these sorts of recordings. This interpretation of their policy is especially concerning with the given fact that they host other recordings related to other very serious current events such as the Dakota access pipeline. Frankly if Sound Cloud had not taken down the content, there wouldn’t be any more publicity about the gag order and everyone would have forgotten about it.

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