Lady Gaga song is still ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A little more than two years ago I wrote on this topic. Back then it was related to Shakira, trying to promote herself (or rather her managers I suppose) by releasing a song free of charge. I.e. not free download, as you’re still obliged to follow the strict laws of copyright. No other licensing (such as either CC type) was mentioned and every part of the site yelled “ALL RIGHTS RESERVED”.

This time it’s Lady Gaga releasing a song on Soundcloud. Yet again, I can’t see any licenses on the release page. The Youtube copy lists it as default YouTube license. At least you don’t have to supply an e-mail and be automatically signed up to a mailing list with this release, or read a “privacy policy” by rootkit makers Sony – like you had to with Shakira – but my main question still stands:

What am I allowed to do with the file and its content?

This is why I emphasize that the file is downloadable free of charge rather than as a free download. Had it been a free download, I’d be allowed to do everything you’re allowed to do with physical objects someone gives you: use, distribute, modify and distribute the modifications. Or in short:

Is this a copyright infringement?

Btw, I added sane ID3 tag info. There wasn’t even an artist assigned to the metadata, so I went ahead and modified the file. Does that mean I just broke another part of copyright law? Or not? I don’t know. Please, music industry and its people with lots of money, please spend 10 more seconds in spelling out licenses and adding metadata. So the community doesn’t have to fix your errors while breaking the law.

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