Can I put the contents of a SAMPLES disc in my video legally? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 7th, 2004, 09:54 AM   #1
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Can I put the contents of a SAMPLES disc in my video legally?

I get a few computer music magazines that include a samples disc of loops, which are intended for Reason, Acid, etc. The premise behind the content on these discs is that you can use the samples in your software to make your own music and even sell it if you wish.

Some of these "samples" are :30 in length. That's a pretty good sample!

Occasionally I come across a couple :30 samples that are more like "mini-songs"... These are usually found on "Ambience" discs or other flowing, mysterious samples... (rather then a drum disc where the samples can be one single beat about :01 long)...

So my question is: Can I pop that :30 "sample" onto my commercial, video opener, etc?

The licensing seems pretty wide open on most sample discs, with the exception of simply reselling the samples as your own.

I looked into Twisted Tracks, you know, the one that advertises music that doesn't suck? They have a very strict licensing policy where you pay out the ass for a mediocre bite of sound, but then you own the rights to that bite... still it's a joke for anybody but an absolute professional.

If you hear some of the samples discs that you get FREE with Computer Music or Future Music you will hear stuff that smokes Twisted Tracks. I laugh everytime I see their add about getting royalty free music that doesn't suck...
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Old January 7th, 2004, 10:12 AM   #2
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Matt,

I'd be careful about that. Go to their web site and read all the licensing fine print very carefully. And if it still isn't clear, contact them.

For Lady X, we needed a track for the theme song. The theme chosen was provided as a free download from the Apple site (made originally by FreePlay Music), so I assumed it was okay to use it. I called Freeplay though and found out that it's free ONLY if you aren't going to generate one red cent off of it. That means even indirect profits, such as submitting your film to a film festival, the festival charges for tickets, popcorn, etc....even if you don't make any money off it, they do, therefore, you'll have to pay a licensing fee.

Be careful.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 03:06 PM   #3
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Exactly. The license tells all. If it doesn't say you may use the samples in any of your own works without restrictions, or it's ambiguous, you shouldn't use it.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 11:55 AM   #4
 
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Samples

In most cases, this is not permitted. The demos are copyrighted to the author, and in some cases, even Apple or Sony, or whomever doesn't own the copyright. The stuff I've done for manufacturers generally stays with me. The demos are to show their PRODUCT capabilities, not give you a free piece of media to use.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 12:26 PM   #5
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Thanks DSE... Hey congratulations on that promo you received! It's been a while since I saw the magazine, but I thought you were featured in an add for Digital Juice or Ulead? I'm sorry I don't remember the product, but at least your name was pounded into my memory!

The stuff I'm referring to are "samples" as in "music samples" for use in a sequencer such as Reason or Acid or Steinberg.

For anyone who may be unfamiliar: "SAMPLES" are little bites of sound which can easily be LOOPED... Sometimes samples are just called "Loops"... A loop/sample can be a snare drum: bop..bop..bop.. and then when you brush a timeline full of those bites you get: bop..bop..bop..bop..bop..bop..bop.. etc. A seamless rhythm... but SOMETIMES a sample is a long synthesizer chord that waves up and down, in and out, left and right... and all that takes :15 or so. It's STILL a sample, but that's why I used the term "mini-song"...

These sample discs are normally purchased in conjunction with an "end user license" which I've been mentally disecting from each provider... Ocassionally a magazine offers a FREE samples disc with SAMPLES that you can use to make AND SELL music... there are usually ALSO complete songs on those discs, but I'm not talking about using actual composed songs.

I've emailed various companies and I'm still waiting for some "absolute clarity" on the issue... so that's why I'm posting here.

As I read it, the samples are YOURS (the purchaser's) to do with as he/she sees fit AS LONG AS the EU (end user) does NOT include copies of samples in their raw usable form within the product OR offer the un-touched samples as original works OR do sample work for a competing company. (In another words you can't buy Acid loops to modify and make a library for Propellerhead...)

Aside from that I can't see any problem?

DSE, I need to clarify that I'm differentiating between SONGS that people have made from samples and RAW SAMPLES that just happen to be nearly :30 long.

I realize I can't take somebody else's work and call it my own. I'm talking about utilizing a "samples disc", which I bought, to generate sound tracks for my own videos...

That is one of the VERY THINGS THAT ACID PROMOTES THEIR LOOPS FOR... but in some RARE cases the loops don't really need to be modified.

When that happens all I really want to know is LEGALLY do I have to alter that LOOP just to be sure it's not as it sounds by itself? If I have to I'll add a "ting" or an extra "beat", but then who cares? You're splitting hairs...

This is why I emailed the companies AND posted this, because really we need an INSIDER answer to be sure!

JOHN, just to also address your point. I've been to the Lady X site a lot and it's an excellent site, but yeah, I could tell that the theme song was a song, not a sample... honestly I just assumed that one of you guys MADE that song from samples.

If you had Acid Pro 4.0 or Reason you could have done that song as your own original work in about an hour, if you have the ear for it. You should check one of those programs out...
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Old January 11th, 2004, 01:36 PM   #6
 
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You can use the samples/loops IF they are synced to something, if they are combined with something, if they are modified. But you cannot redistribute them in an as-is.
I apologize, by your post I thought you meant the demo songs used to demo the library. Those can't be used in most situations.
Loops on the other hand, are royalty free in most every situation. All LFA's, (Loops for Acid) are royalty free regardless of the creator of the loop whether it's a 2 bar loop or a 32 bar loop.
Same with Apple loops.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 02:01 PM   #7
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THANKS DSE! I feel like I'm talking to a celebrity! This is almost as cool as talking to Jay Rose over at dv.com...

I appreciate you following up this post so fast! I've been assuming that my thinking regarding the LFA's was correct... I just wanted a little extra reassurance before I put a lot of time in a project I'm scoring for a film festival.

Fact is that some of those LFA's are really good! I'm not a professional musician and I'm lucky enough to have access to an excellent artist, but there are times when I'd enjoy having total control over my project with the help of LFA's...

This is the last tip I'm going to give out for anyone who has happened to stumble across this post, because I've given a lot of advice through the years and it's a bitch when the "student surpasses the master"... especially when you're competing for a job... so here it is, a seemingly simple little idea for those who read this:

"Do not underestimate the quality or ease of the Acid loops. You won't believe how good some of the samples CDs are. You will be surprised at how a story can arrise just from a mysterious sound that makes your mind wander and imagine. And FINALLY, if you haven't heard any Acid loops or samples CDs that gave you this feeling... don't stop looking, there are some real "diamonds in the rough" regarding samples."
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Old January 11th, 2004, 03:15 PM   #8
 
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And FINALLY, if you haven't heard any Acid loops or samples CDs that gave you this feeling... don't stop looking, there are some real "diamonds in the rough" regarding samples." -->>>

This is so dang true. The composition I did for the Olympics was inspired by listening to a few loops...the muse is strong when you are just openly listening.

Thaks for the kind words, but I'm no celeb. Just a lucky idiot.
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