HOAX: Soundcloud's copyright bot took down a conceptual "remix" of John Cage's silent 4'33

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This isn’t the first time that a remix of the silent track’s been targeted for copyright enforcement, but it never gets old.

(… but this story is)

Since apparently the remix was mostly a Bieber tune, I’d side with Soundcloud here.

Fun fact: my morning alarm is set to 4’ 33" (mostly because iOS for some dumb reason doesn’t let you set an alarm with no sound).

On the plus side, I wake up feeling just a little bit avant guarde.


This is cute, but 4’33 isn’t actually silent. No notes are played, but in an interview Cage said the piece includes ambient noises, and no two performances are alike. So it certainly is possible to copyright a particular performance, as well as the very brief score.

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So when i saw this was a DJ Detweiler remix i knew something was up. I came across DJ Detweiler several years ago with the darude sandstorm remix. DJ Detweiler’s avatar icon is TJ Detweiler from the TV series Recess. TJ is something of a good natured trickster. TJ plays a recorder in the series and the sandstorm remix is done with a recorder. Its something of an inside joke. All of their “music” is cringeworthy. If they did something to a beiber track it probably involved a recorder.

I wouldn’t be so quick to condemn it as a hoax without first listening to it. It might actually be fair use. It most likely contains shitty recorder music.

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