If you’ve recently tried to find retrosynther Robots With Rayguns on SoundCloud, you’ve probably seen an error message that reads, “Sorry! We can’t find that user.”
But SoundCloud knows where he is: He’s in exile. The company banned him for copyright infringement, because of his excellent remixes of the likes of Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, and others.
RWR announced the breakup on Feb. 10 on his Facebook page. When I reached out to RWR (AKA Lucas Smith) today, he told me he’s revamping his website “with a special section for all the remixes.”
“I just woke up one day to an email explaining that my account had been removed and I had been banned… because it was a violation of the terms of service regarding uploading copyrighted content,” Smith said.
“Over the past few years I’ve probably received over a dozen take down notices where they remove the remix and email me saying they received a notice from the copyright holder (the original artist’s label),” he said, “but they never shut down my account or anything like that until now.
We’ll see if he’s able to get his account back. It’d be a damn shame for him to be banned from the service, but then again SoundCloud ain’t what it used to be. Last year, it was announced that copyright holders can take down songs without any dispute process in which the account-holder would get a fair hearing, according to reports.
Here’s what he had to say on Facebook:
“Sad news today for all you robos who like to stream RWR on soundcloud! Due to ‘copyright infringement’ regarding posted remixes, they have decided today to shut down my account and ban me. This decision is unfortunate as I formally regarded Soundcloud as a great space to share music and ideas and celebrate each others art, but in the past year or so that has become a very different kind of company. This may be the end of the RWR soundcloud page, but it is certainly not the end of the party!”
RWR recently released the awesome Fresh As It Gets, which you can find everywhere but SoundCloud.