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zedzeek

legality of samples

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ive looked at the faq but couldnt find info whats the legal status of ripping short samples (less than 5 secs) from songs / tv programs / films to include as sound effects in use of my game? thanks zed

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Ripping samples from anything copyrighted (and most likely all songs/tv programs/films are) is completely illegal unless you have the expressed consent of the company that owns the rights and you also cite the samples you are using.

For example:

Bass Sample: Taken from "Sesame St. Theme Song" Composed by George.

Something like that. When you contact these companies that own the rights, if they let you do this, they'll make you aware of the conditions.

Also, length of the sample doesn't matter- it's the sole act of doing it in the first place. This holds true even if your game is just done for hobby or is free. Copyright still holds. If you read this article, all of your questions should be addressed: 10 Myths about Copyright

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All i've learnt over years of working in audio is basically not to touch ANYTHING that is copyrighted. It really depends on the scale and purpose of the project though, if it's just you messing around and there's no money involved then that's a completely different thing to if you plan on selling the product...

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Quote:
Original post by VectorWarrior
All i've learnt over years of working in audio is basically not to touch ANYTHING that is copyrighted. It really depends on the scale and purpose of the project though, if it's just you messing around and there's no money involved then that's a completely different thing to if you plan on selling the product...


Actually I have to disagree with you on that point. This is what Brad Templeton writes in his article "10 Myths about Copyright Explained" Even if there is no money involved, it can still cause you a major headache and is technically a copyright violation.

2) "If I don't charge for it, it's not a violation."
False. Whether you charge can affect the damages awarded in court, but that's main difference under the law. It's still a violation if you give it away -- and there can still be serious damages if you hurt the commercial value of the property. There is an exception for personal copying of music, which is not a violation, though courts seem to have said that doesn't include widescale anonymous personal copying as Napster. If the work has no commercial value, the violation is mostly technical and is unlikely to result in legal action. Fair use determinations (see below) do sometimes depend on the involvement of money.

The rest of his article is here: http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

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True, but i didn't say it wasn't a copyright violation. I said it was a "different thing". If you were to use a copyrighted track on a product for worldwide release set to sell millions of copies, well, that's a completely different thing to someone making a game for the purposes of sending to developers to try to get employment for example. Sure, they're both copyright infringement, but in reality you're unlikely to get the copyright police busting down your door for the latter. Like i said though, i wouldn't touch anything with a very long barge pole that i knew was copyrighted... it could come back to haunt you years later and your career (in audio) could well be over.

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Quote:
Original post by VectorWarrior
If you were to use a copyrighted track on a product for worldwide release set to sell millions of copies, well, that's a completely different thing to someone making a game for the purposes of sending to developers to try to get employment for example.

How many people would you employ who sent you a demo containing music/graphics that have been ripped from somewhere else?

You wouldn't exactly be inspired to trust them with your IP given they've just ripped off someone elses.

I think it would be an incredibly stupid thing to do and likely to result in your application ebing instantly binned.

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When people send in audio showreels to my department they generally contain (if not games the applicant has worked on) reworked audio/music for a scene of a film or game. That is obviously a copyright infringement right there, but no-one bats an eyelid because you can't expect people to make the audio AND the visuals when they're just sound designers/musicians. Infact, this sort of thing is generally encouraged rather than being "instantly binned". But anyway, i think we're going off topic now...

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thanks i think thats cleared up,
this was concerning a sample from an opera i wanted to rip (ill email the distributor + see what they say)
note - im doing all soundeffects audio in my game (quite fun), also ppl i know are doing the soundtrack (i might even do a couple of songs)
ta zed

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