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Topic: Is it legal to do this...

  1. #1

    Is it legal to do this...


  2. #2

    Re: Is it legal to do this...

    Muncie, If you\'ve been keeping track of recent threads, I can safely say you\'re in for a s**t storm of responses! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
    My best and simple guess would be....no way. If indeed I understand your question.


  3. #3

    Re: Is it legal to do this...

    Hi Munsie,

    Fair question and often a mistake many first-time developers make....It\'s also something that we\'ve tried to be as clear as possible at Spectrasonics.

    ANY reuse or creation of a derivitive sampling work that utilizes our samples in any way to create other samples to be distributed free or commerically requires a separate license and permission from us. The legal definition is called a \"derivitive work\".

    This also includes all of our samples and waveforms in many Roland synths, expansion boards, groove boxes, drum machines and the V-drums that we\'ve licensed to them. (So even a library created with the Roland V-Drums is off limits without permission from both Roland and Spectrasonics)

    I think you\'ll find that this is pretty standard policy industry-wide. Even most free download sites don\'t necessarily grant you the right to resell their samples commerically or use them to create new works.

    All you really have to do is ask the developer/copyright owner, and maybe they\'ll agree to it. But it is pretty unlikely....even with sample-based hardware devices.

    Hope that helps and clarifies the situation with our products too.

    All the best,


  4. #4

    Re: Is it legal to do this...

    Well I think this is what Eric Persing has done with his new apps. My understanding is atmostphere\'s has been created with every synth known to man. Everything from Eric\'s most vintage collection to Access Virus. But these sounds are manipulated, twisted, wisted and blisted into something new that can be called uniquely Eric... and now it\'s a cool new program.

    Surely every sound from Stylus wasn\'t created from scratch... Eric\'s got years worth of samples he\'s collected, many of which are probably sampled off of boards with copyrighted sound sets... but again it\'s all so twisted it\'s a new sound.

    Every collection of loops I have (RnB, Hip et al) gives a list on the inside of the synths and effects used to create these loops. But you\'ve created new intellectual property with the sounds, not knew sounds. Soooo...... I don\'t know why it WOULD be a problem, looks like it\'s the only way to do a loop collection. You have to get source from somewhere....

    But I could be wrong. I\'ve not investigated this.....

  5. #5

    Re: Is it legal to do this...

    As long as it\'s not sample based synths I guess it\'s ok to sample them without any special permission. I believe its the recording that is copyrighted, not the sound..


  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Dorset, UK

    Re: Is it legal to do this...

    That\'s right. Any recording automatically has copyright protection, incl. samples. Re-use of this recording no matter how much edited, manipulated or twisted, is a derivative work and requires licence.

    A sound recorded from an instrument which produces a sound de novo, such as a \"traditional\" synth -even if patented- becomes your primary copyright.

    Obviously if the name (brand) of the original instrument is used to sell a sampled instrument (e.g. \"Moog\" or \"Bosendorfer\") this itself requires licence.

  7. #7

    Re: Is it legal to do this...


  8. #8

    Re: Is it legal to do this...


  9. #9

    Re: Is it legal to do this...

    Originally posted by Munsie:
    I\'ve just got off the phone with Big Fish Audio and Sonic implants, and they both agreed it is LEGAL to produce loop libraries using individual samples from their products, but the loops I sell cannot contain isolated samples of their instruments. In other words I can use their \"snare\" to make a loop I just can\'t use their \"snare\" but itself and sell it as a \"snare\".

    Next up a phone call to Roland....
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Uh-hu, that\'s what I thought. No one can tell me every loop library out there went through the trouble of sampling their own source hits for thier loops.... I can\'t see that happening.

  10. #10

    Re: Is it legal to do this...

    Originally posted by Munsie:
    Hmm.. so I can\'t take any or all of my legally purchased lirbaries and sound modules, drum machines, (yes Vdrums), etc, and create loops that other people could purchase?

    BUT I\'m allowed to make a \"song\" that uses the same instruments (regardless of length) and sell this?

    Is there some magical limit in audio that at some point defines it as a song and not a loop? I mean aren\'t songs nothing more than 3-4 minute loops? [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Now ofcourse I realize I can\'t sample an instrument alone and then re-sell this as an instrument, but if I understand you guys (I guess I should read my license agreements again!!) correctly, I can\'t create sound loops using a variety of instruments and resell these loops?

    Don\'t composers sell little 30 second jingles, commercials, even 5-10 second little intros for games, in between levels, etc. Heck, what about little 1-2 second sound effects?

    Again, not interested in creating loops that only include 1 sample, but loops that contain a variety of instruments and sounds. [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">The license you are granted is for creating musical works. We specifically prohibit creating new samples from our works, as does every other license agreement that I\'ve ever seen in the business. Obviously, it\'s way easier to create lots of derivitive loop products by combining good material that has already been released by other developers, instead of recording or creating it yourself....especially these days with things like Groove Control, Acid, ReCycle and Live.

    The difference is pretty simple. You can\'t create works intended for sampling purposes from our sounds. Music is a totally different situation, because you are creating a musical work, not something that will be reused in samples for other musical works. The last thing we would be interested in is licensing our sounds to create competitive products. There are lots of other scenarios of course, but it all boils down to the fact that if someone wanted to distribute samples that were made from our stuff, we would need to check it out first.

    BTW, the list on Atmosphere that was mentioned includes sample based Roland synths, but not other sample based synths like Korgs or Yamahas. Obviously, Spectrasonics is in a unique position to sample Roland synthesizers like the JV/XVs because we actually own the copyright on the waveforms from those synths that we used to create new sounds. We license those samples to Roland. Any other company sampling those synths would likely have legal problems from us and Roland, and Roland is very aggressive in protecting their intellectual property.

    We are super careful about getting clearance on all source material that we use to create our sounds. We\'ve spent a lot of time researching the legalities and case law about these issues too. So we have obtained the legal rights for everything first (which can be quite involved, complex and expensive), and then we are also ethically very careful not to sample anyone\'s work like synthesizer patches....every sound we create is completely original, 100% copyright clean and guaranteed legally safe to use....which takes a huge amount of effort and expense. That\'s one reason why legit loop libraries are often as complicated to produce as orchestral libraries....you have to track down all your sources.

    In terms of the law, it is much clearer in court than most people realize. It always favors the originator of the work. You cannot produce derivitive works from copyrighted material without a special license from the copyright holder, and this has been proven in the sampling and soundware fields many, many times in lots of different lawsuits and cases that are on the books. There are many companies, big and small, that have made this mistake of copying, modifying, mixing or utilizing samples from other CDs and have had to pay dearly for it. I can tell you too that all of the sample producers check each others work for their sounds too, since in the past there have been so many problems and abuses. These days with established producers, it\'s not the problem that it once was.....but with new companies, they often make the same mistake and it will be really a mess for them.

    My advise is to record your own samples and work with those to create your stuff. It will be more rewarding for you in every way, creatively and financially and it will guarantee that you have something truly original to offer as well.

    Hope that is helpful.


    PS. Think about it this way:

    What do you think my competitor\'s reaction would be if I used some of his samples to create our next Spectrasonics loop product? Think it would matter how creatively I used it? Think it would matter if we were a smaller or newer company?

    Obviously, this would be a major problem and we would never think of doing something like this. The entire industry of musical hardware and software is very small, and we all are very careful to respect each others work and space.

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