I enjoy electronic music and making mixes / compositions of my favourite songs. I'm not a producer, I just download and put together good songs for others such as my friends and work colleagues to listen to and maybe discover new artists from.

I have almost 30, 1-hour mixes from almost 700 different songs from many different professional, electronic artists from around the world.

If I wanted to upload my mixes for others to listen to on say YouTube or SoundCloud, would that be legal? I don't want to make any money from this and I would include a tracklist containing every song and artist on all the mixes.

I have heard that you need permission from an artist to include their song(s), but I'm not 100% sure. If it was illegal and someone posted a mix of songs including music under copyright, what would happen? (I'm not going to do that if I'm not allowed, but I would still like to know).

Also: I have been redirected here from music.stackexchange after hearing hearing about "mechanical rights" and "re-broadcasting" without permission.


  • The fact that it is a mix or whether the artists are "professional" is not important. Maybe I own the copyright of one of the songs in your mix of 700 songs. Then I could sue you for copying just that one song without my permission. So to simplify you should really consider the case of posting one song that is copyrighted. Of course, technically since you have already copied songs and shared them with friends, you have very likely already infringed many copyrights; however posting copies so that thousands may download unauthorized copies of many songs will just make litigation more attractive. – Brandin Oct 4 '17 at 8:36
  • The short answer is that yes, this is a copyright violation which the copyright holder could choose to take legal action against you for. – ohwilleke Oct 4 '17 at 19:48

The short answer is that yes, this is a copyright violation for which the copyright holder could choose to take legal action against you.

You could, however, list the songs in question and provide links to authorized providers of those songs without providing the contents of the song yourself and thus avoid violating copyright laws.

  • Your second paragraph implies that using and mixing and posting the copyrighted material is okay as long as an authorised source is listed and the copyright holder named. This doesn't hold true - the mix is still a violation of copyright and the holder can still take legal action. – Nij Dec 4 '17 at 0:14
  • @Nij There is no such implication. I'm simply distinguishing between linking to something, which is not a violation, and copying, which is a violation. It is O.K. to have a "mix" which like a mix tape is simply a sequence songs, as a sequence of authorized links to songs as opposed to a copy of those songs that you rebroadcast. There is another sense of the word "mix" which involves sampling from different sources and combining the sample in a single medium (which can't be accomplished with links) that is something quite different. It isn't clear which sense is meant by the OP. – ohwilleke Dec 4 '17 at 5:58

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