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Topic: Discussion on Licenses...

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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Discussion on Licenses...

    I've been having some thoughts on the licenses that come with almost all sample libraries and wanted to discuss some of them with you guys, see what the different opinions are here.

    My biggest wish is for two different licenses based on the planned usage of the end user, with the two biggest groups of users, working professionals and hobbyists.

    The hobbyist license would allow them to use the library for any non-profit work, including homework for courses, personal work for themselves and family or free online distribution. The libraries in this case would not be allowed to be used for any paid work, including no use on any tracks that are to be sold, either on disc or online. By purchasing this license, the user would be able to purchase the library for much less than the commercial license.

    The commercial license would allow full use of the library for paid work. The libraries in this case would give you full rights of use in movie work, album work, or any other use that would lead to a profit. By purchasing this license, the library would cost more, but it is a recoupable cost.

    The hobbyist license would be perfect for students and users who do nothing more with their music than play it for family and friends and forums.

    The hobbyist license should also be upgradeable in the future should the student graduate and try to break into the "for hire/profit" section of this business. However, it should be more expensive to go this route, as the costs would be separated over a period of time and as an incentive to go with the commercial license from the beginning. But it wouldn't cost the developer anymore than sending a new PDF via email because the user would have all the samples already.

    I know of a few developers that offer educational discounts, but this is different. And I know there are a few low cost alternatives available, but even by the words of the developers making those low cost solutions; there should be many colors available to a composer via several different libraries.

    Thoughts?
    __________________
    Alan Lastufka

  2. #2

    Re: Discussion on Licenses...

    As a hobbyist I would welcome less expensive libraries, and would be suportive of such a structure ..... but only on the basis that these licences were true discounts. (say 30% of normal price )

    It would be unfair for the "hobby licence" to become the new baseline, only to give an excuse for the professional licences to be more expensive.

    Also, the licence would have to allow me to submit music for competitions, and broadcast (if no royalties were to be paid) ...


    .. but how would you enforce this ? a trust based scheme ?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion on Licenses...

    I disagree totally. You are going to give a price break to someone who is probably making considerably MORE money than a composer, because he isn't a "professional?"

    I don't think you really realize how few people "make the big bucks" by composing music professionally. Most people do it because they can't imagine doing anything else with their lives, and they sacrifice mightily to get there. It took me until I was in my 40's to make the same amount of money that a grocery store sacker makes, still with fewer benefits.

    So, I think you have it almost exactly backwards.

    And yes, this is why I get so upset when "hobbyists" are the loudest moaners about how much sample libraries cost. Most hobbyists, by definition, have a great career track job. This is why they have the time, and the disposable income, to buy professional musicmaking tools to enjoy in their spare time.

    We composers generally don't know what spare time means. We are too busy trying to make enough music to make a living equivalent to an entry-level job.

    Food for thought. Why not discount the composers, and charge double for the hobbyists, if you're going to completely detach inherent value from the equation?

    Of course, that's not how I actually feel about it...just being facetious. How I really feel is that you should set a single, fair, price for your technology, and that it should be the same for anyone involved. That is fair. When you start making blanket generalizations about who is "better able" to pay, then you are really shooting in the dark.

  4. #4

    Re: Discussion on Licenses...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    Most hobbyists, by definition, have a great career track job.
    Huhh ??? Which dictionary defines hobbyists as people having great career tracks. I don't understand (or agree with) that statement at all.

    Apart from the above statement I can see where you are coming from Bruce. Kind of ...... there is a danger the professionals would suddenly see themselves as "penalised" for being professionals and resent the people who call themselves "hobbyists" (whether they can afford the professional licence or not).


    I guess Alan's original motives were to help increase sales of a library. And the idea is not that dissimilar to the "educational discount" schemes. If so, it is up to the company to decide on their licencing / price strategies ... and to pitch them so that any goup doesn't feel penalised.

    So the argument, IMHO, comes down to should/could schemes like educational licensing be extended to other groups, (or abolished altogether to avoid upsetting hobbyists AND professionals ... okay, that wasn't a serious suggestion).

  5. #5

    Re: Discussion on Licenses...

    Bruce,
    Is this before or after you get to write libraries off do you think this is unfair?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Discussion on Licenses...

    Per the "writeoff" aspect...

    That's not really a huge financial windfall. You don't get that much money back from writing something off, as you should all well know.

    I think my point has merit.

    What is a "hobby?" Something that one does with the time he has left over after he makes his living. If someone has enough spare time and enough money to indulge himself IN that spare time, then that is in general a lot more financial and schedule freedom than most composers I know have available.

    You know, maybe I should not have said a thing. It is clear enough that the hobbyist group is by far the largest percentage of the Northernsounds community, and that it would be insane for a hobbyist to argue against lower prices for himself.

    But that does not make it fair. Fact is, if you have enough time and money to indulge a very expensive hobby like music production, then you are doing a lot better than most composers I know, who would love to have just the time for a "hobby," never mind the extra cash required.

  7. #7

    Re: Discussion on Licenses...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    How I really feel is that you should set a single, fair, price for your technology, and that it should be the same for anyone involved. That is fair.
    Exactly.

  8. #8

    Re: Discussion on Licenses...

    Interesting, but I think the tiered offering we see now is enough. There should be different products for different users. That's simple enough. I think keeping people within the confines of a liscense is near impossible for the developer to enforce and therefor becomes a mute point. If there's a solution, I think its in public viewpoint of a library. To most people, VSL presents a viable pro offering and is priced out of hobbiest range accordingly. However GPO is meant to bring music to anyone that wants to make it, and is priced accordingly. There you have your solution. If more devs would adopt this concept then you'd have the best of both worlds while keeping it streamlined and simple.

  9. #9

    Re: Discussion on Licenses...

    Yeah, maybe it was a bad idea... that's why I love this place - it's a great sounding board for stuff like this. I just think it would be nice for those that have the same passion and drive and need to create music as Bruce, be able to afford those tools, even making like 20k a year on top of rent and car payments and school loans being paid off.
    Alan Lastufka | www.BelaDMedia.com
    Producer/Artistic Design | Content Producer

    20 Things

  10. #10

    Re: Discussion on Licenses...

    No, its a good idea, and I can see where Bruce is coming from, but the biggest issue would be policing this policy. I think that would be a nightmare.

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