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Royalty Free Samples & CC License

phasenwandler
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permalink   Wed, Apr 27, 2011 @ 5:31 AM
Yesterday I did a quick remix. As it was just a quick shot, it includes a simple drumloop from a royalty free sample library I purchased.
When uploading, I was wondering if I had the right to distribute my work under cc license, due to that included drumloop.

I browsed through several licenses of such sample libraries. All state something like that:

“You may use the downloaded sounds in combination with other sounds within your musical compositions,
and release such compositions commercially without payment of any further fees or royalties for such usage.”
or
“The sounds, samples and loops on all of our products are guaranteed 100% royalty free. You have an exclusive license to use the sounds contained on that product in any way you like without the need for sample clearance.”

The more I read about it, the more I get confused.
No need to say, that I’m not allowed to distribute or sell those samples in a stand alone manner. Those sound samples are licenced, not sold, to me to be reproduced within my musical compositions. Those licenses are not transferable to another person.

So, do I asume right, that I can release my remix including such a single sample comercially. But I can not distribute it under a CC license, because I am not allowed to grant others the right, to reuse that single sample as part of my remix (as this would transfer my purchased license to them)?

And, to take that thought further…
As it is common use in production of electronic dance music to use pre-recorded “cleared” samples, I was wondering if most of the uploaded remixes and samples (excluding the “handmade” stuff) at ccMixter infringed on copyright.
Clarence Simpson
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permalink   Thu, Apr 28, 2011 @ 10:52 AM
As I was first reading this I was thinking “of course you can release that as CC!” because I’ve done the same thing numerous times. But reading further you started to make me second guess myself. I’m not a lawyer, but IP law is an interest of mine… and what you pointed out kinda makes sense.

I think releasing it with the CC No Derivatives clause should definitely put you in the clear legally… but I’m not a big fan of that solution. For one thing, that means no ccMixter.

The thing is, and you mentioned this, if you’re right, and you can’t CC license a song if it contains a royalty-free sample then I would think that the large majority of CC songs on this site (and anywhere) are illegal. Your thought might even extend to virtual instruments that use samples as well (e.g. a virtual piano that plays samples of a real piano) because I think those are licensed similarly (royalty free).

Frankly, if what you say is true, then I think ccMixter and perhaps the whole CC music movement would collapse. I would hope that smarter people than me would’ve realized that early on if it were true. So I tend to think that it’s not true.

Of course, it sounds like a sort of gray area because obviously the companies selling royalty-free samples don’t want people to use them without paying for them. Legal technicalities aside, I think ultimately it boils down to not making those companies angry. After all, copyright infringement happens all the time. Heck, half of what’s on YouTube is probably a copyright infringement. The question is, do the copyright holders care?

If you make something that could cost them a sale (e.g. - a “song” that is Drum Loop 1 for 10 seconds, Loop 2 for 10 seconds, Loop 3 for 10 seconds, etc.) I’d say that’s a no-no because it could serve as a replacement for buying the library. But if you make a real song using their loop (yet substantially different from their loop), and release it as CC, and tell people “Hey I used XYZ’s sample library to make this!”, then I think they’d be thrilled b/c that’s free advertising and people might go out and buy the full sample library because of your song.
 
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permalink   phasenwandler Fri, Apr 29, 2011 @ 12:42 AM
Thanks for the response. I guess everything you stated is right.

“No Derivatives” would be on the safe side. But I agree with you, that would be a bad workaround.

It is as you’ve mentioned, the copyright holders probably wouldn’t care, as long as I didn’t share their samples in isolation. No complainant - no judge. Though it would feel kind of uncomfortable if this was a grey zone between legality and illegality.

So I too have the hope that I’m wrong and that there’s a clause we have overseen that clears up this question.
 
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permalink   Subliminal Fri, Apr 29, 2011 @ 12:43 PM
Clarence response reflects my thoughts on the matter. I don’t think that there will be a problem as long as the samples are part of a remix and not a seperate upload in itself.
 
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permalink   Abstract Audio Sun, May 1, 2011 @ 4:45 AM
Quote: Clarence SimpsonThe thing is, and you mentioned this, if you’re right, and you can’t CC license a song if it contains a royalty-free sample then I would think that the large majority of CC songs on this site (and anywhere) are illegal. Your thought might even extend to virtual instruments that use samples as well (e.g. a virtual piano that plays samples of a real piano) because I think those are licensed similarly (royalty free).

Frankly, if what you say is true, then I think ccMixter and perhaps the whole CC music movement would collapse. I would hope that smarter people than me would’ve realized that early on if it were true. So I tend to think that it’s not true.


Now I’m even less into the (music) law as you so this might be a very dumb commend. But with a lot of these things shouldn’t there be something (or a lot) earned illegally before this really is going to be a problem??

And with a drum loop what is really protected? The rythm itself will proberbly be done a number of times with diffrent sounds. The drumsounds it self are proberbly impossible to protect.
So if I cut a loop into small hits reprogram it in a new loop is it still under protection?
 
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permalink   Clarence Simpson Wed, May 4, 2011 @ 7:42 AM
That’s true… there’s definitely a difference between what is illegal usage and what is illegal usage that the copyright holders care about. Technically, it’s illegal to paint Mickey Mouse on the wall of your bedroom. Disney holds the copyright, so your reproduction of Mickey is illegal. Of course, does Disney care? No. Are they going to sue you? No. Copyright holders generally don’t care until you start making money off their work or are giving away for free anything that they could profit from.

Can’t answer the drum loop question. Those kinds of questions give me a headache. :)
 
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permalink   Abstract Audio Wed, May 4, 2011 @ 10:11 AM
Me too :))

Have asked it to a few people and they all gave me a diffrent anwser. I was hoping someone over here
would know that for sure
 
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permalink   phasenwandler Thu, May 5, 2011 @ 5:02 AM
Does Disney care if you put a cc license on your Mickey Mouse painting and spread it all over the web for free use?

What if somebody cuts the drum loop out of my remix, I illegally declared to be cc, builds a track around it, lands a number 1 hit and is going to make big money. Will Sony sue him? Will they sue me?

I need an aspirin, now :)
 
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permalink   Subliminal Thu, May 5, 2011 @ 8:28 AM
But chances are that the drumloop cannot be cut out of your remix in isolation, so is it still the same thing as the original loop? And are you still redistributing something you are not entitled to redistribute?

More aspirin please…
 
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permalink   Abstract Audio Thu, May 5, 2011 @ 2:38 PM
Well I think they won’t sue you (depending on the cc license) in this case ‘somebody’ is doing something illegal. You are aloud to release music and make money with that sample but you are not aloud to redistribute the sample on it’s own.
But ‘somebody’ is not aloud to use your music (again depending on the license) nor the acid loop if he didn’t buy that loop
 
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permalink   phasenwandler Fri, May 6, 2011 @ 7:09 AM
But how could ‘somebody’ know that he is not allowed to use that acid loop, if it’s (included in my song) falsely released under cc license?

Okay, most of my concerns are very hypothetical. And too many “What if”, “I guess”, “I think”, “probably” and so on…
I guess this discussion is going to lead into nothing but headaches. Though it’s quite interesting :)
 
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permalink   Abstract Audio Fri, May 6, 2011 @ 8:35 AM
Well if he knew or not that’s not interesting, if you licensed your work as by-nc (as most of it is) he is not allowed to make money from it without paying you.
If you make a deal with somebody then there could be a problem with sony.
And that’s the part where I have to guess but as long as it’s not just that loop in it original form my guess is your allowed to make that deal. As you stated earlier they are royalty free loops.
phasenwandler
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permalink   Sun, May 1, 2011 @ 1:46 AM
In the meantime i found the answer by myself at the CC discussion list archive. Victor ”fourstones” Stone answered this to a similar question:
Quote: actually you CAN use the Sony ACID royalty-free loops — I went around
with Mia on this and she checked out the Sony loops license.

It’s fine, most music on ccMixter uses some for of this. Without the
ability to use royalty-free loops the idea of using CC on music falls
aparts and disables about 90% of all music in the world.


Sorry for the confusion ;)
 
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permalink   Chomolungmas_Kleid Wed, May 4, 2011 @ 2:45 PM
This doesn’t answer the question at all. He only tells his oppinion.

It is wierd that there are such thing as copyright (or performance rights in this case) at all. It disables 99.99 % of all contemporary music.
 
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permalink   Abstract Audio Thu, May 5, 2011 @ 2:07 AM
It does but only for the acid looppackage
 
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permalink   phasenwandler Thu, May 5, 2011 @ 3:57 AM
Well, it doesn’t not answer the question at all.

Just wanted to point out, that Victor Stone, as a leading administrator of ccmixter, was aware of the problem. And I suppose he wouldn’t give legal advice if he didn’t clear this up in advance.

As Sony uses a similar license on the acid loops, the answer could be transferred to this matter.
 
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permalink   Abstract Audio Thu, May 5, 2011 @ 5:37 AM
Oh wait I mis read it you can use it, but you still don’t know if you have any rights to publish it?
 
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permalink   phasenwandler Fri, May 6, 2011 @ 6:35 AM
My previous reply was adressed to Chomolungmas_Kleid. Just went along with him that Victor Stone’s statement concerning this question wasn’t fully satisfying and could be more detailed.
 
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permalink   Lisa Coffey Sat, Jan 23, 2016 @ 6:34 AM
The thing is, and you mentioned this, if you’re right, and you can’t CC license a song if it contains a royalty-free sample then I would think that the large majority of CC songs on this site (and anywhere) are illegal.
Thanks,
 
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permalink   Snowflake Sat, Feb 13, 2016 @ 7:58 AM
Royalty-free loops are allowed in CC mixes by their very nature being “royalty-free.” However, someone couldn’t sell sync licenses or claim to own those samples in YouTube’s Content ID program because they don’t own the publishing rights to do so.