Login / Register 0 items | $0.00 New @ KVR
hhuang9611
KVRist
 
231 posts since 28 Feb, 2018, from USA

Postby hhuang9611; Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:31 am What are considered commercial purposes (regrading EDU License)

Hi guys,

So I have been taking advantage of being a college student and getting plugins at cheaper prices. At the beginning, I just wanted to produce music for self entertainment, but recently I felt that I might want to start sharing tracks or projects and maybe put up some videos online. No intention to become a famous youtuber or something, just want to share my stuff with others and exchange ideas. But then I remember that most of the educational licenses are restricted from commercial purposes.

Honestly, I don't expect to make money from my tracks or videos, but I think if I put them online, they have the potential to draw attention, and hence can be considered profitable in some ways (which might not actually happen, but possible, right?). So I hesitated when I tried to upload stuff.

I am sure that making and selling tracks or samples made by those plugins are completely commercial purposes, which I certainly won't do. But I am wondering if it is okay that I put my stuff online just for idea exchange purposes? And what if others like my track and decide to use it for commercial purposes? (which, might not be happening but I'm just curious). Will I get into trouble?

Also, there is another thing I keep wondering about. Will artists' tracks get examined after release? I mean, will they be asked to provide the full project file to see what software they used and if they have legitimate licenses? I haven't seen any stuff with description saying "this track is produced using [some software]." So I guess someone can even use cracked software to produce a fully commercial track and never been caught, because the software company would never know their stuff is used? (I won't do it, promise. Seriously, I ask just because of curiosity).

Thank you in advance for sharing your ideas! :tu:
User avatar
vurt
addled muppet weed
 
36714 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass
post them.
if someone offers to use a piece commercially, get paid and use that money to purchase full licence :)
low_low
KVRist
 
366 posts since 19 Jul, 2018
Why not contact the copyright holder and ask them ... they sold you the license.

Look at it from your own point of view ... you get out of school, license the tools you want to use, use them to create a song, then distribute it commercially to the world. Then, out there somewhere, is a kid in college who wants to use your song for a project but he isn't sure if it's commercial or not, etc ... wouldn't you rather he just drop you a line and ask you for a license ? It doesn't mean you're going to charge him, necessarily, it's just the right thing to do ... he asks, and if you like his project you give him a license that says he can use your song for his project and that's the end of it. You have a license from the manufacturer that made the tool ... pay them the same courtesy and just contact them and ask, they'd be happy to tell you what you can and can't do under your license. Probably they won't care if you are making youtube videos.

Also .. it's impossible for anyone here to tell you what your license does and does not allow, because there's no universal text for "commercial purposes". Your license is a contract, it's very specific, so "commercial purposes" is spelled out in your license and varies from license to license. Again, it's the same as if some kid wanted to use your song and you gave him a license .. you would spell out the exact terms of use, maybe very broadly, or it might be very specific, it depends on what you put in the license, it's a contract, you have total freedom to put whatever you want in it. You could put a clause in the license that says whenever someone includes your song in a movie they have to include someone in the movie eating 10 red jelly beans while they say "beep beep-a ah beepa beepa" and roll their eyes three times if you want to.
hhuang9611
KVRist
 
231 posts since 28 Feb, 2018, from USA
vurt wrote:post them.
if someone offers to use a piece commercially, get paid and use that money to purchase full licence :)

Sounds like a good strategy. But is it okay to violate the agreement and then make up for it?

low_low wrote:Why not contact the copyright holder and ask them ... they sold you the license.

Look at it from your own point of view ... you get out of school, license the tools you want to use, use them to create a song, then distribute it commercially to the world. Then, out there somewhere, is a kid in college who wants to use your song for a project but he isn't sure if it's commercial or not, etc ... wouldn't you rather he just drop you a line and ask you for a license ? It doesn't mean you're going to charge him, necessarily, it's just the right thing to do ... he asks, and if you like his project you give him a license that says he can use your song for his project and that's the end of it. You have a license from the manufacturer that made the tool ... pay them the same courtesy and just contact them and ask, they'd be happy to tell you what you can and can't do under your license. Probably they won't care if you are making youtube videos.

Also .. it's impossible for anyone here to tell you what your license does and does not allow, because there's no universal text for "commercial purposes". Your license is a contract, it's very specific, so "commercial purposes" is spelled out in your license and varies from license to license. Again, it's the same as if some kid wanted to use your song and you gave him a license .. you would spell out the exact terms of use, maybe very broadly, or it might be very specific, it depends on what you put in the license, it's a contract, you have total freedom to put whatever you want in it. You could put a clause in the license that says whenever someone includes your song in a movie they have to include someone in the movie eating 10 red jelly beans while they say "beep beep-a ah beepa beepa" and roll their eyes three times if you want to.

Okay, that makes sense. I will contact them the next time I want to post something.
User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
 
15094 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location
low_low wrote: there's no universal text for "commercial purposes". Your license is a contract, it's very specific, so "commercial purposes" is spelled out in your license and varies from license to license.

There's no universal letter of the law, but the spirit of the law is perfectly clear. You can't be accused of acting commercially if you aren't selling any product and have made no money off of, let's be clear, the simple fact of a youtube video post with music in it. I don't know how in the world someone doesn't know if what they're doing is being commercial or not. I think everyone posting here does: are_you_making_money from it, per se. It isn't a judgement of any other aspect. You may have very commercial-seeming music that you have chosen not to do a single thing with commercially; you may have quite 'no commercial potential' music you got recorded by an entity that is ultimately distributing it in stores. :shrug:

If someone else is making money off the video, they're either doing it with your blessings or not. If you have agreed to that, well you may want to stop that because you'd be acting commercially.

And I don't agree with licensing software being perfectly parallel with licensing an artwork.
low_low
KVRist
 
366 posts since 19 Jul, 2018
jancivil wrote:
low_low wrote: there's no universal text for "commercial purposes". Your license is a contract, it's very specific, so "commercial purposes" is spelled out in your license and varies from license to license.


There's no universal letter of the law, but the spirit of the law is perfectly clear


Yes, it's clear if there is no text, then it falls under 18 USCS § 31, but I'm saying there's no universal contract text, it varies license to license and contract to contract.

You can't be accused of acting commercially if you aren't selling any product and have made no money off of, let's be clear, the simple fact of a youtube video post with music in it. I don't know how in the world someone doesn't know if what they're doing is being commercial or not. I think everyone posting here does: are_you_making_money from it, per se. It isn't a judgement of any other aspect. You may have very commercial-seeming music that you have chosen not to do a single thing with commercially; you may have quite 'no commercial potential' music you got recorded by an entity that is ultimately distributing it in stores. :shrug:


To be clear, I'm NOT saying you would get chased down for this, but it doesn't have to be money that you receive, it could be viewers, adsense, endorsement, job leads, all of that is generally speaking "commercial purposes". Simply posting something to youtube in the hopes that it will increase your exposure and lead to other opportunities is a commercial use. Realistically, nobody is probably going to give a &^%$ if some kid posts a Youtube video s/he made with software they had an educational license for, but it is what it is.

If someone else is making money off the video, they're either doing it with your blessings or not. If you have agreed to that, well you may want to stop that because you'd be acting commercially.

And I don't agree with licensing software being perfectly parallel with licensing an artwork.


Licenses vary, but they're all licenses. Licenses can essentially say whatever you want them to say, but they typically have broad categories they fall into such as whether they are exclusive or non-exclusive, how long the license lasts such as being perpetual or having a time limit, where the licensed property can be used such as in a advertisement on 5th avenue new york, or in a movie titled "gone with the wind", etc. Licenses work basically the same for all copyrights, you're giving the person who purchases the license some kind of right to use the copyrighted work in some way, giving them permission to do things that only you as the copyright holder normally have a right to do including; right to reproduce, prepare derivatives, distribute copies, perform, and display. By default, the copyright owner is the only person who has the right to do those things unless there is a license, or under other situations that fall under fair use, face to face instruction, etc.

I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.
User avatar
vurt
addled muppet weed
 
36714 posts since 25 Jan, 2003, from through the looking glass
as i said elsewhere, i am, unless it's a criminal offence to impersonate a lawyer
low_low
KVRist
 
366 posts since 19 Jul, 2018
vurt wrote:as i said elsewhere, i am, unless it's a criminal offence to impersonate a lawyer


It must suck to want to control someone else's behavior SO MUCH and then not be able to, huh vurt.
User avatar
Hink
Rad Grandad
 
27129 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from Downeast Maine
low_low wrote:
jancivil wrote:
low_low wrote: there's no universal text for "commercial purposes". Your license is a contract, it's very specific, so "commercial purposes" is spelled out in your license and varies from license to license.


There's no universal letter of the law, but the spirit of the law is perfectly clear


Yes, it's clear if there is no text, then it falls under 18 USCS § 31, but I'm saying there's no universal contract text, it varies license to license and contract to contract.

You can't be accused of acting commercially if you aren't selling any product and have made no money off of, let's be clear, the simple fact of a youtube video post with music in it. I don't know how in the world someone doesn't know if what they're doing is being commercial or not. I think everyone posting here does: are_you_making_money from it, per se. It isn't a judgement of any other aspect. You may have very commercial-seeming music that you have chosen not to do a single thing with commercially; you may have quite 'no commercial potential' music you got recorded by an entity that is ultimately distributing it in stores. :shrug:


To be clear, I'm NOT saying you would get chased down for this, but it doesn't have to be money that you receive, it could be viewers, adsense, endorsement, job leads, all of that is generally speaking "commercial purposes". Simply posting something to youtube in the hopes that it will increase your exposure and lead to other opportunities is a commercial use. Realistically, nobody is probably going to give a &^%$ if some kid posts a Youtube video s/he made with software they had an educational license for, but it is what it is.

If someone else is making money off the video, they're either doing it with your blessings or not. If you have agreed to that, well you may want to stop that because you'd be acting commercially.

And I don't agree with licensing software being perfectly parallel with licensing an artwork.


Licenses vary, but they're all licenses. Licenses can essentially say whatever you want them to say, but they typically have broad categories they fall into such as whether they are exclusive or non-exclusive, how long the license lasts such as being perpetual or having a time limit, where the licensed property can be used such as in a advertisement on 5th avenue new york, or in a movie titled "gone with the wind", etc. Licenses work basically the same for all copyrights, you're giving the person who purchases the license some kind of right to use the copyrighted work in some way, giving them permission to do things that only you as the copyright holder normally have a right to do including; right to reproduce, prepare derivatives, distribute copies, perform, and display. By default, the copyright owner is the only person who has the right to do those things unless there is a license, or under other situations that fall under fair use, face to face instruction, etc.

I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.

the reason myself and others often suggest not using a site like this for legal advice is clear here in this thread. What in fact is happening here is people are interpreting the law, but as you say you're not a lawyer so it is not your field. This gives all the posts from laymen a high probability rate of being subjective, I dont know about you but I would want objective facts (forgive my redundancy). People here spend a fortune on GAS, so they can produce music but then that same music isn't worth a few dollars more to protect it? To protect one's self?

When my dad died in 2006 I had an eyeopening experience, a woman I considered to be as close to family as it gets sued me. She had no chance of winning but destroyed me, it was over just 60k. I learned first hand that law suits are not about truth, they are about economics and if you think otherwise I'm sorry. What happened in my case was just before trial I gave her 10k to settle, so she won right?

Nope, at this point I had paid about 20k in legal fees, a trial would have added a lot more and we had still not deposed her, the trial would have been easily well over 10k alone. (in case you dont know you need a stenographer for depositions which is going to going to run into thousands of dollars as well) I already was deposed by her lawyer, we knew what they had and they had nothing. She had over 45k invested because no lawyer is taking a civil lawsuit like this at that amount on contingency.

I was livid at first, we knew we would win but couldn't afford to win. In the U.S. if you are sued and win you cannot recoup your legal costs unless a judge tosses it out for being frivolous. At the end of it all the lawsuit cost us a combined amount of more than what was being sued for. So no she did not win, we both lost and I paid 30k to get 60k so it was in my best interest to settle and the settlement states that I was not accepting any responsibility for any wrong doings (because there wasn't). A legal question was put forth, it took two years and aprox 65k to get no answer.

So how does this tie in here? Simple, every time these threads pop up (and I was one of these people once) people argue what they believe to be the facts as you are here now. You know what? You could be as right as right can be or equally wrong, matters not. You see facts may not matter at all, if there is a legal question on the table and it's not frivolous the case will continue as long as both parties can afford to keep it going. (if you're up against a big company with a staff legal team you're likely not winning that either)

As we see here these laws are confusing to a layman, the question here is a very valid legal question. Now the issue isn't whether a person can prove if they were legal purposes, the issue is can they afford to convince a judge or jury they were not commercial purposes. If you are the defendant winning still means losing thousands of dollars, see not about truth, about economics.

It just seems extremely prudent to me to spend a few dollars early on to prevent such a thing, my lawyer then was 300 dollars an hour and my present lawyer now charges 350 an hour. Let's bump that up to 400 for easy math, your questions might take an hour, but likely less if you are prepared. Even at 400 dollars it might save you 1000's and you need only do it once unless you have more questions. Sure, in simple cases of infringement I would guess (just a guess) that you may only end up with a C&D order but is it worth the risk?

I'm no fan of lawyers, but the legality of these things can be so complicated that it only makes sense to get advice from an expert and not people who are on an online forum where you cannot actually review their credentials or even know their name. As mod I would be derelict in my duties if I did not remind people that it's better to get legal advice from a lawyer and not from someone who could have had any number of accounts here.

With all that said, the op states he will contact the entity that owns the right to said material. However if it were me, before I signed anything I would ring up a lawyer and spend the few dollars to even have that contract reviewed. Sometimes there just are no shortcuts.
got any good fish stories? Let minnow
User avatar
BertKoor
KVRAF
 
10563 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland
low_low wrote:I'm not a lawyer
Yeah yeah, so you told us.

low_low wrote: if there is no text, then it falls under 18 USCS § 31,
but you surely smell like one :-P
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!
low_low
KVRist
 
366 posts since 19 Jul, 2018
Hink wrote:the reason myself and others often suggest not using a site like this for legal advice is clear here in this thread. What in fact is happening here is people are interpreting the law, but as you say you're not a lawyer so it is not your field. This gives all the posts from laymen a high probability rate of being subjective, I dont know about you but I would want objective facts (forgive my redundancy). People here spend a fortune on GAS, so they can produce music but then that same music isn't worth a few dollars more to protect it? To protect one's self?

When my dad died in 2006 I had an eyeopening experience, a woman I considered to be as close to family as it gets sued me. She had no chance of winning but destroyed me, it was over just 60k. I learned first hand that law suits are not about truth, they are about economics and if you think otherwise I'm sorry. What happened in my case was just before trial I gave her 10k to settle, so she won right?

Nope, at this point I had paid about 20k in legal fees, a trial would have added a lot more and we had still not deposed her, the trial would have been easily well over 10k alone. (in case you dont know you need a stenographer for depositions which is going to going to run into thousands of dollars as well) I already was deposed by her lawyer, we knew what they had and they had nothing. She had over 45k invested because no lawyer is taking a civil lawsuit like this at that amount on contingency.

I was livid at first, we knew we would win but couldn't afford to win. In the U.S. if you are sued and win you cannot recoup your legal costs unless a judge tosses it out for being frivolous. At the end of it all the lawsuit cost us a combined amount of more than what was being sued for. So no she did not win, we both lost and I paid 30k to get 60k so it was in my best interest to settle and the settlement states that I was not accepting any responsibility for any wrong doings (because there wasn't). A legal question was put forth, it took two years and aprox 65k to get no answer.

So how does this tie in here? Simple, every time these threads pop up (and I was one of these people once) people argue what they believe to be the facts as you are here now. You know what? You could be as right as right can be or equally wrong, matters not. You see facts may not matter at all, if there is a legal question on the table and it's not frivolous the case will continue as long as both parties can afford to keep it going. (if you're up against a big company with a staff legal team you're likely not winning that either)

As we see here these laws are confusing to a layman, the question here is a very valid legal question. Now the issue isn't whether a person can prove if they were legal purposes, the issue is can they afford to convince a judge or jury they were not commercial purposes. If you are the defendant winning still means losing thousands of dollars, see not about truth, about economics.

It just seems extremely prudent to me to spend a few dollars early on to prevent such a thing, my lawyer then was 300 dollars an hour and my present lawyer now charges 350 an hour. Let's bump that up to 400 for easy math, your questions might take an hour, but likely less if you are prepared. Even at 400 dollars it might save you 1000's and you need only do it once unless you have more questions. Sure, in simple cases of infringement I would guess (just a guess) that you may only end up with a C&D order but is it worth the risk?

I'm no fan of lawyers, but the legality of these things can be so complicated that it only makes sense to get advice from an expert and not people who are on an online forum where you cannot actually review their credentials or even know their name. As mod I would be derelict in my duties if I did not remind people that it's better to get legal advice from a lawyer and not from someone who could have had any number of accounts here.

With all that said, the op states he will contact the entity that owns the right to said material. However if it were me, before I signed anything I would ring up a lawyer and spend the few dollars to even have that contract reviewed. Sometimes there just are no shortcuts.


Hink, I appreciate what you wrote, truly, I respect that you would write something like that to help other people. I also agree with what you wrote, going to talk to a lawyer is almost never a bad idea, especially on important matters. Same as anything else, you have accounting questions, talk to an accountant. Have health issues, talk to a doctor. That's always good advice in my opinion, and I agree that the Internet is a terrible place to get that kind of expert advice.

The only caveat I would offer is about copyright registration, that's something that every creative person should learn about, and it's not brain surgery. Obviously if the two page form is confusing, get help from a lawyer, but encouraging creative people to learn about copyright registration can only be a good thing. Creative people also have to learn about licensing, because it is so important to their business.
rp314
KVRAF
 
2111 posts since 24 Mar, 2006, from The city by the bay
vurt wrote:as i said elsewhere, i am, unless it's a criminal offence to impersonate a lawyer


Just posting free advice around here or making money off of it?
Sparky77
KVRian
 
809 posts since 29 Sep, 2006
low_low wrote:Why not contact the copyright holder and ask them ... they sold you the license.



The terms of use are generally very clear on this from the developers.
Check the web site for details or email them.
--After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

-Aldous Huxley
low_low
KVRist
 
366 posts since 19 Jul, 2018
Sparky77 wrote:
low_low wrote:Why not contact the copyright holder and ask them ... they sold you the license.



The terms of use are generally very clear on this from the developers.
Check the web site for details or email them.


I've noticed some of the VST instrument licenses are very short and/or vague, but in general I agree they usually spell it out pretty clearly on popular commercial software licenses.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
11097 posts since 13 Oct, 2009
Hink wrote:With all that said, the op states he will contact the entity that owns the right to said material. However if it were me, before I signed anything I would ring up a lawyer and spend the few dollars to even have that contract reviewed. Sometimes there just are no shortcuts.


Do you know what's probably cheaper than a lawyer? Just paying for the non-EDU versions.

Previous poster is right, it's usually spelled out and it is absolutely not consistent from developer to developer so you need to pay attention. Some (many?) edu licenses don't even have a non-commercial use clause.

Still, I think that low-low was just saying that it's not necessarily a simple question about whether you are directly earning money for it to be considered commercial use and that is true. Even if we can't get a definitive legal answer here, we CAN still talk about best practices that will mitigate risk. As you say, courts are hard to predict, but that doesn't make this into an unwinnable binary proposition. Adopting best practices most likely will improve your position with respect to the likelihood of getting sued or winning in case that you are.

Here's a discussion that directly relates to the question and best practices:

http://mollykleinman.com/2008/08/21/cc- ... l-license/
Next

Moderator: KVR Moderators (Main)

Return to Everything Else (Music related)