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mtasukwo

Legal issues with selling digital files online?

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Hi all,

My question to everyone selling their music as mp3s, wavs, .ogg files and so forth to be used in online (small) flash games (not AAA titles) is this: have you ever encountered any legal issues of selling those mp3s from state to state (eg. violating state laws of any sort)?

I would love to know this, because I ideally want to sell within the US, but hopefully without restrictions.

PS I've searched these forums in both the music, legal, and help wanted sections for answers to this and have not found any.

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Without doing any research to get solid figures, I know that MP3 requires a license if you sell more than X amount. I believe that number is pretty high - in the tens or hundreds of thousands. If you're not selling that much, then you're fine. I believe OGG and WAV do not have any type of license requirement.

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Hi Mr. Madsen,

Thanks for your reply.

Also, thanks for recommending Aaron Marks' book "Game Audio." Got the 2008 edition and it's a good read.

Do you know of any rules about selling my own mp3's (through a service such as payloadz.com) internationally?

Mtas

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I thought I should add: these are my own, home-created (Fl Studio) mp3's, which I would be selling the exclusive rights to, on a song-by-song basis, to online flash game developers.

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What I'd recommend is that you upload your MP3s to a service that will farm it out to all of the online markets (like iTunes, Amazon, etc). I know there are different rules for different territories so using a one stop service (something like CD Baby) can really help expedite the process while also making sure you're 100% legit.

Update: Oh, so instead of just selling songs for listening use you're wanting to license your music out to individual developers. That changes things. I'd do some research on the matter to find out what different territories require. For example I've done some work with clients in Germany and I have to send them a hard copy of everything I do, including the signed contract. This is on top of already sending everything electronically. But with the clients I've worked with in other areas, like Singapore, this wasn't a requirement.

Thanks,

Nate

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