orchestra hit samples - the really bugging legal question

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)
User avatar
KVRist
440 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:41 am

If someone downloads the free orchestra hit samples from such websites could they use the samples even in commercial music productions,
e. g. if someone was to make their own music and sell some mp3s online somewhere?

https://freewavesamples.com/about-us-license
https://freewavesamples.com/instrument/orchestra-hit

They sound the same as commercial orch hit samples and some are even named after Roland and Korg... so I'm getting more AND MORE confused with all those legal questions about those samples.

I'd really appreciate some clarifications upon this matter. It's been bothering me for quite some time and I keep reading all kinds of confused half truths about the orch hit samples and whether you can use them freely for your music or not.

Can you use such samples without feeling unsure about what you do or will you get into trouble if someone claims that it's still from some record after all?...

I myself wish that such famous and also very important samples that have been shaping our Western music for decades could be used for any music productions (be they commercial or just for private experiments) but how could I EVER be sure with all the legal confusions around sampling those sounds?

People have felt intimidated, making sure not to post such samples from commercial plugins lately BUT I think they are just exactly the same.
So how come? :?: :?: :?:

What if I make a plugin, take a free sample as its sound source, even name the source I got it from and then sell my plugin. Would it then be illegal to use the sample from my plugin? Is that how it basically works nowadays? :?:
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Don't let those modern slaveholders ruin your life!

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KVRAF
31176 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:10 am

You can use free samples in your music, but NOT in a vst or sample pack of your own making (unless you have permission from the copyright owner).

User avatar
KVRAF
13214 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:58 am

Maybe read this first before asking further questions:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amen_break
https://www.highsnobiety.com/p/unauthor ... p-samples/
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holiday_Rap

My conclusion: if you don't "clear" your samples (compensate the rightful owner), you are at risk. You might fly under the radar. Many producers here are struggling to get anybody else than their mother to listen. These have nothing to fear, there is no money to sew for. If you publish through a label and money is coming in, then clearing should not be an issue.

There are exceptions, that's why I also linked to the Amen Break story. Eventually a judge decides who is right in case of a conflict.

There is a difference between publishing music which uses a sample (that's usually ok when cleared) and distributing the samples themselves (not ok). Read the fine print. Do try to understand legal lingo. Respect ownership of what's not yours to give away.

If you see something being distributed by another than what you think is the rightful owner, you don't know whether there was a deal/contract or not. You may ask when you think this is important, but might not get an answer. I would avoid passing judgement because the details are unknown.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
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User avatar
KVRist

Topic Starter

440 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:45 pm

So could I just use all the samples I gave the link for above to include them in my own music tracks AND (here probably comes the more difficult part) sell my music (cheaply) as mp3 files / offer them to whoever may like to support me like millions of others will do?
I am not talking about making sample packs but "producing" music that others would listen to as well (not just Juno's mom :D ). If my music becomes so very famous is another question, though probably not because it would be just more of a fun thing to do anyways and the great Juno doesn't need to be more famous than he already is, or don't you think?! :D
Bert, you said somewhere that we shouldn't rely on making money with our musical hobbies somewhere and I think you're right. I have "a real job" and it can only be an additional fun thing to do to enrich the world a bit further with something that may make sense to a few like-minded people...

But let's stay with the very concrete samples I gave the link for and the purpose I have in mind.
I'm really unsure about this and many others may ask themselves the same question.
So can I, you, he/she/they do this or is it a problem, do I need a lawyer first, do I (as a potential private "producer") have to contact special institutions first, etc. etc.?

I'm also not sure who I could clear the samples from that website with or if I would really have to bother about this in this specific case (using the samples from that website). It just states that anyone could feel free to use them but I don't know. Is it just wishful thinking or is it true? :?:

So I'd do this as a private person, never done it before, no record labels involved, no contracts involved whatsoever. I'd like to do this freely and independently if at all, you know, like others have their youtube channel as a hobby or whatever... :tu:

To sum it all up: I need help! :help:
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Don't let those modern slaveholders ruin your life!

KVRAF
1675 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Post Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:01 pm

juno987654321 wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:45 pm
If my music becomes so very famous is another question, though probably not because it would be just more of a fun thing to do anyways and the great Juno doesn't need to be more famous than he already is, or don't you think?! :D
Yes, exactly. There are tens of thousands of musicians making music - and hardly any
of them sell their music. You should also be doing vocalistic mainstream music -
and doing a lot of promotion - and exuding a lot of charm - and then be very very
lucky.

How about the idea: "If I get so much free myself, then I could also freely distribute
my music myself?" Just look here and also here! :wink:

juno987654321 wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:45 pm
I'm also not sure who I could clear the samples from that website with or if I would really have to bother about this in this specific case (using the samples from that website). It just states that anyone could feel free to use them but I don't know. Is it just wishful thinking or is it true? ... to sum it all up: I need help! :help:
The answer is very simple: For every library that you use, you have to
check which copyright rules have been specified by the author. For every!
If no information or insufficient information can be found, then you have
to contact the author and ask.

The most common free copyright rules are:

-- Public Domain (CC0)
-- Creative Commons (CC-by-nc-nd)
-- GNU GPL (Richard Stallmann Copyleft), v2, v3
-- BSD-License
-- MIT-License

If you find such an abbreviation, you look up what is allowed
and what is not. This can be quick, but it can also take a little
longer. But you can't avoid it. :tu:
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

User avatar
KVRist

Topic Starter

440 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sat Jul 31, 2021 3:32 am

enroe wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:01 pm
How about the idea: "If I get so much free myself, then I could also freely distribute
my music myself?" Just look here and also here! :wink:

************* Side notes: ************************

This idea is too simple because it leads to a rather serious systemic problem.

In a FREE society in which there's no longer any need to struggle and sweat to earn enough money, find jobs, be hired and fired, struggle to make it through the day and pay all the necessary bills, in such a society that knows nothing of such pains any longer I should directly agree! I wish this to become true one day: everyone should have enough free time to engage in art and distribute everything for free because the bills would be paid automatically and you wouldn't have to worry about that. People have envisioned such a society before but it has never become reality so far and there are reasons for that.

But as long as reality is still quite the opposite and only a few people are in the lucky positions that they never have to worry about anything I think artists deserve to be paid for what they give – much more naturally than the squares and exploiters: bankers, politicians, stock brokers, born riches and play bosses...

Anyways, famous sounds like the orch hit sounds generally should be free in my opinion and I am here trying to find some clear and straightforward words (without beating about the bush i. e.!) if this is now the case or simply not – in reference to the concrete website given above. I have never found any clear answer to this and it would be helpful to many to clarify this once and for all. Can we use those samples in our songs?


More side notes:

Certain software tools will always be free for a good reason. That's not saying software developers should not be paid, though. People often develop such free software tools because they have been disappointed or sacked by big companies, so there's Open Office as an alternative to Microsoft's Word e. g. and now their friends won't have to pay and support Microsoft's relentless policies EVEN further...

Your reference to free distributions is nice, but you may have applied it in the wrong way. The idea behind this is to generally distribute goods in juster ways and support people who otherwise could not afford to get what they need, but it's not meant to expect all artists to produce without getting anything in return. That would rather distort the idea completely. It's a social idea to establish more equality and justice and that main purpose should always be remembered and connected to it...

My solution is to make financial support to artists a voluntary thing but most certainly artists shouldn't be expected to entertain bankers, stock brokers... for free and be made to believe that they deserve nothing in return for their human efforts...

************************* End of side notes **************************

But those were all just side notes and they lead the focus away from my original question...

So back to the original question:
Could one use the orch hit sounds from the above website for producing songs, even if some of them were sold on CDs or as mp3s? Is this legal: yes or no? There should be a very definate answer to that. Who knows something about the laws in this concrete case and could give a definate answer?
Anyone?
Someone makes a song and takes an orch hit sample from the website, then puts it on some platform for sale. Legal? :?:
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Don't let those modern slaveholders ruin your life!

KVRAF
1675 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Post Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:38 am

juno987654321 wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 3:32 am
enroe wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:01 pm
How about the idea: "If I get so much free myself, then I could also freely distribute
my music myself?" Just look here and also here! :wink:

************* Side notes: ************************

This idea is too simple because it leads to a rather serious systemic problem.

In a FREE society in which there's no longer any need to struggle and sweat to earn enough money, find jobs, be hired and fired, struggle to make it through the day and pay all the necessary bills, in such a society that knows nothing of such pains any longer I should directly agree! I wish this to become true one day: everyone should have enough free time to engage in art and distribute everything for free because the bills would be paid automatically and you wouldn't have to worry about that. People have envisioned such a society before but it has never become reality so far and there are reasons for that.

But as long as reality is still quite the opposite and only a few people are in the lucky positions that they never have to worry about anything I think artists deserve to be paid for what they give – much more naturally than the squares and exploiters: bankers, politicians, stock brokers, born riches and play bosses ...
Nice that you thought so much about it. :clap:

And of course you are right: as long as we live in a thoroughly
monetized world, it is difficult to maintain a kind of "free world" in
one area. :neutral:

But you have to admit: It's an inspiring idea - and it's also
electrifying that there is such a free world in a small sub-area -
namely the world of software and sounds. :hyper:

The interesting thing is: There are indications from experimental
psychology that in a "free world" the motivation is for the most
part intrinsically driven. And that introducing monetization
destroys this intrinsic motivation. Monetization means the risk that
you will do everything for the money, no longer because you like
it and want to create art. Just a thought ... :wink:
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

KVRAF
1675 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Post Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:44 am

juno987654321 wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 3:32 am
So back to the original question:
Could one use the orch hit sounds from the above website for producing songs, even if some of them were sold on CDs or as mp3s? Is this legal: yes or no? There should be a very definate answer to that. Who knows something about the laws in this concrete case and could give a definate answer?
Anyone?
Someone makes a song and takes an orch hit sample from the website, then puts it on some platform for sale. Legal? :?:
This has already been answered in full - in general (see my post)
and specifically (see post from "thecontrolcentre"). And what's more,
it's directly on the website:
freewavesamples.com wrote: License

All of the samples posted on this site have been recorded by Jason Champion in his home studio and are distributed as freeware and may be used royalty-free.

If you use any of the samples from this site in your music, film, or other creative work we would appreciate it if you linked to us from your website or mentioned us in your creative work's accompanying literature. This is not required, but it is good karma.

You may not place copies of samples available on this site on your own website for download. Although they are offered for free, they are meant to be downloaded from the original source.
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

User avatar
KVRist

Topic Starter

440 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sat Jul 31, 2021 9:15 am

enroe wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:38 am
There are indications from experimental
psychology that in a "free world" the motivation is for the most
part intrinsically driven. And that introducing monetization
destroys this intrinsic motivation. Monetization means the risk that
you will do everything for the money, no longer because you like
it and want to create art. Just a thought ... :wink:
This is 100 % true. I always feel good when I do something good and human. But thinking in terms of money all the time and categorizing everything in such terms because we're all being brainwashed all the time - that destroys the good in human nature and leads to alienation from our very own nature (!).
This is one of the crucial Marxist (Oh, what a bad term!) messages that have been distorted to the moon so as to keep up with a fake inhuman system that was made by a few to suppress the good potentials in us all - just so that they could feel more powerful than others - BECAUSE power is a relative evil and it depends on keeping others down.

But yes, I do still share your optimism that at some point humans will come to terms with themselves and get rid of the slavery they are partly self-responsible for.

As far as the royalty free claim is concerned I would LIKE to believe it but I cannot understand it and hence not really trust it yet. Maybe THIS is really my problem atm.
How is it possible to even name "royalty-free samples" after companies and copyright-holders who make money with the very same samples, don't they? I mean, sure this sounds great, but life tells me that you should always make double sure or someone will get at you again, complain, sue, blackmail or whatever the human mind is capable of at its worst performances...

Also I wouldn't want those nice people who offer the samples to get into trouble because I, Juno, used a little sample in some mp3 I then sold for a Euro or two, just so that someone would sue the website owners in the end and put the blame on them.

I just want to know and understand how all of this really works and how they find their legal ways around things so that I can understand that things are really "watertight" as opposed to "in a very dubious grey zone" that nobody could feel happy about.
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Don't let those modern slaveholders ruin your life!

User avatar
KVRAF
13214 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:22 pm

The license text of freewavesamples is pretty clear.

What's dubious though (not addressed yet) is the availability of these samples in the first place. You may sample analog synths and distribute these samples. No problem. But with digital PCM synths it is problematic.
See for instance https://freesound.org/forum/legal-help- ... stions/47/

A user of these samples can do so free of any risk (apart from feeling bad perhaps). In the end product you may recognise preset X from synth Y, but no one knows whether you own that synth, or rented a studio for an hour that has one and recorded it threre, or you borrowed one from a friend. It's nothing to be suspicious of.

Synths are made to make music. So it is no surprise these samples turn up being used in music. Synth & sample manufacturers have better things to do than checking published music against their client data.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is served over https!!

User avatar
KVRAF
13214 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Sat Jul 31, 2021 1:33 pm

So here's a mindfuck for you.

It is obviously allowed to make music with sample-based instruments. But distributing their raw samples is off limits.

So what if I made a composition that goes like this: take a workstation rompler synth, switch to the drums bank, play each one. That is my composition, my copyright. So I record it, press compact disks and publish on my website to sell. Those are my rights because it is my music. All rights reserved, copying lending etc etc prohibited (c) 2008 BertKoor (got this idea some years ago already)
Then later I spot a song on the radio using drums from that rompler. Can I sew that other musician because he sampled and stole my "music"?

You see the problem? We have laws that cannot possibly be enforced.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is served over https!!

User avatar
KVRAF
13214 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:21 pm

Another thing to ponder about...

At one end of the spectrum are professional musicians (or producers if you like) signed by a big label. The producer samples whatever he likes, the label will take care of the sample clearing with copyright owners before publishing. All is fine and legal.

At the other end of the spectrum is what we call personal use. Boy in bedroom samples whatever he likes. As long as his songs including those samples don't leave his harddisk, all is fine and legal.

Say your best friend gets married and another friend made a hilareous text on "shape of you" by Ed Sheeran. You sample the first 10 secs of the record and perform on the wedding. Personal use, totally permitted, all fine and legal.

Someone made a video of it and posts it on social media. Still legal? What happens next?

There's a big grey area inbetween these two extremes, when the costs of your hobby are greater than the revenues, if any.

I remember a 13-year old boy and his jobless single mom were sued by a record company for something like 1.5 million dollar because a dozen mp3 files on their pc were shared through napster or linewire or whatever. That was perhaps 10 or 15 years ago. Don't know how that ended, but I cannot imagine the same still can happen today.

I cannot tell you what you should do, but I can tell you what I did. Haven't published much music lately, but I am a computer programmer and sometimes I put some stuff like tutorials on github. Often I use the DBAD license. Very permissive: Dont Be A Dick.
https://dbad-license.org/

Some years ago I made an app and that was about to be put in an app store. One of the checks on the form was about had I included any resource which was not allowed to redistribute. Hmmmm... there was a free font I used, but upon reading the license of that: nope, no redistribution allowed.

Side story: so-called viral licenses are problematic. You may use this thing, but only if your thing is published with the same license. That is why Audacity needs you to install lame.dll yourself.

So what did I do about the font. I could have kept schtum. Who was checking where that font came from and what license came with it? Could I keep under the radar?

I decided to look for a font with the required permissive license and used that instead. For me it looked a bit worse, but users of my app would not notice at all. But at least I could sleep well that night.


Orch hits are similar: to the audience they are all the same. Your pc has it already preinstalled, since it is a general midi patch.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is served over https!!

User avatar
KVRist

Topic Starter

440 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:06 am

Wow, thanks for all that interesting input, Bert! The license you mention is really funny but also good and worth thinking about!

There's just one sentence I didn't fully get:
BertKoor wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 1:33 pm
It is obviously allowed to make music with sample-based instruments. But distributing their raw samples is off limits.
Did you just mean here that sampling your samples would then be illegal because it would have been taken from your music?
You say that it's legal to distribute all samples from analogue synths / (older) analogue keyboards, don't you? But in the above statement you make me doubt this again as if you were not allowed to sample from old analogue keyboards? But I probably just didn't get this sentence right. :?:

But as I understand you now the analogue sounds can ALL be sampled and used for both non-commercial and commercial music nowadays? And if there's a sound which is both sold commercially but also available for free then we could just use the free one.
And even if someone
- took the orch hit sound from a commercial source they don't own and
- used it in their own music and
- published that (which would be stupid)
...even then noone could ascertain where the sample really came from in practice and it might have come from the free source or at least one could say so...

I'd like to recap a bit what I found out so far and this may be interesting to other beginners as well:

This one website I found there probably already gives us most of the common samples that people who would like to produce some songs for a hobby are looking for.
It's a great resource for people like me and it's very safe to use all the samples and include them wherever you like in your songs and also edit them as you like.
We don't have to buy any commercial plugins to be able to make some music that includes some famous sample sounds like the good old orch hit sounds.
And that was just one website of many. There are many more.

What's more, we could also sample anything from analogue synths (if I understood this right) and those sounds are mostly what I'm looking for anyways because I'm such a great fan of retro-style music still. I have an old Yamaha MM6 and I believe it's analogue (?). The output for the sounds is only analogue though it has a digital output for MIDI data. So it must be classified analogue? If I then like a certain sound and if I record the sound in Cubase I could use it in my DAW if I throw in the recorded .wav file into the in-built sampler in Cubase. I could also share the sound with a friend and not get into trouble for doing so.

Now, if I'd like to sample something from a pop song and include it in my song for some reference to the artist, that's when I'd really have to research and find ways to clear the samples for my song or else I couldn't do it. If the artist doesn't want to be quoted by me or if the artist charges too much I couldn't do it...

And if there's a modern digital sound I like I couldn't just sample it because it's digital BUT I could try to recreate the sound myself (digitally in Serum e. g.) and that's why I like sound design so much because it enables you to make your own sounds or just recreate those you like and then include the sounds in your own music.
As an alternative, you could try to find sources to legally buy the digital sound from (like from an authorized and not just stolen sample pack or from a licensed synth that has exactly that sound). But for that you always need the financial resources to do it and many hobby musicians will be limited in that...

I wonder if I got it right now. I'm still very unsure about all of this. The topic of sampling is somewhat intimidating but if it's true what I think I found out, then our possibilities aren't that limited after all. :tu:
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Don't let those modern slaveholders ruin your life!

User avatar
KVRAF
13214 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:06 am

In short: it's about recordings. Simply put, samples are recordings. So standard copyright rules apply.

Synth manufacturers own the copyright on their PCM sample waveforms. You can create & distribute music with it, but they have the right to sue you in case you distribute the raw samples or otherwise breach license agreements. Practice shows this does not happen often.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is served over https!!

User avatar
KVRist

Topic Starter

440 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:16 am

BertKoor wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:06 am
In short: it's about recordings. Simply put, samples are recordings. So standard copyright rules apply.

Synth manufacturers own the copyright on their PCM sample waveforms. You can create & distribute music with it, but they have the right to sue you in case you distribute the raw samples or otherwise breach license agreements. Practice shows this does not happen often.

So does this mean that I couldn't record a sound from my MM6 analogue keyboard and send it to a friend (distribute it) if my friend doesn't have the MM6 at home?
This would make me wonder again how they are allowed to put samples like "Kurzweil K2000 Orch Hit" online
as royalty free for everyone and start my doubts all over again. Isn't that like distributing the raw samples from synth manufacturers? Those are now still open questions to me which would make me hesitate to use the samples from the given website. :?: :?: :?:
Last edited by juno987654321 on Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Don't let those modern slaveholders ruin your life!

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