FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)
Danilo Villanova
KVRist
237 posts since 30 Apr, 2018

Post Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:49 am

Hi, I have a legal question that hopefully someone can help me with.

I understand that you cannot sell samples from other companies, even if you heavily process them.

But when it comes to synths, it’s different because they’re music instruments and the process of sampling them makes you the owner of the sample.

But Fxpansion doesn’t seem to think that way and they won’t allow their synths to be used to create commercial sample libraries.

Do they actually have any legal grounds for it? Can they actually claim copyright to a 1 second sound that I made with one of their synths? Doesn’t the sample belong to me and am I not free to do whatever I please with it?

Thanks

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3736 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:12 pm

Danilo Villanova wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:49 am
Hi, I have a legal question that hopefully someone can help me with.

I understand that you cannot sell samples from other companies, even if you heavily process them.

But when it comes to synths, it’s different because they’re music instruments and the process of sampling them makes you the owner of the sample.

But Fxpansion doesn’t seem to think that way and they won’t allow their synths to be used to create commercial sample libraries.

Do they actually have any legal grounds for it? Can they actually claim copyright to a 1 second sound that I made with one of their synths? Doesn’t the sample belong to me and am I not free to do whatever I please with it?

Thanks

IANAL.

Can you post a reference to what you are claiming/stating?

It's pretty hard to reply other wise.

I'll give it a go though.

When you create a sample library, the last thing you want is someone copying it and re-distributing it as their own, undermining all your hard work. But of course, the whole point of making up sample libraries in the first place is so that 3'rd party people (punters) can make up their own groovy music using your samples.

It's a fine line that some people just don't get. Yes you can use my samples to create your super duper no.1 hit single (and make millions) but don't take the P and try to repackage them as your own (still not making a penny).

I doubt that FXpansion would really care if you bought their synth and used it to make up original sample libraries. Let me qualify that, and it's just my opinion: I doubt that FXpansion would care if you bought their synth like Cypher2 or whatever and used it to make up a sample library that you built yourself from 'init'. For one, how could they even tell? They couldn't.

But what I think they might object to is if someone used a program like Highlife Sampler or even Image-Line Directwave (IIRC) that can effectively have a VST plugged in to it and it samples all along the keyboard (virtually) giving a pretty good representation of said VST it was sampling. These samplers take virtual snapshots and render them out as .wavs, all multi-sampled along the keyboard.

Now, it's not perfect, but still. This is just like using someone's samples and repackaging them. Think of all the hundreds of hours of sound design that went in to a single patch made up in FXpansion Cypher2 for example. To all intents and purposes, resampled, repackaged! Not good.

Maybe that is what they are warning against. I don't know. I don't speak for them. This is purely conjecture on my part.

If it blocks chancers and piss-takers from re-sampling their instruments (and more so the hard work of their sound-designers), then, all good.

If you started from scratch and from 'init' and made up your own sounds and mapped them out yourself, with your own FX etc. how would they even know? They couldn't.

I think this is to just stop people taking advantage.

I might be wrong.

You have to understand a product like FXpansion Cypher2 is right out at the edge of current VST technology. And it's only as good as the sound-designers that spend their time making up patches for it. These are the top sound-designers in the world, and more than that, they have spent not just months, but years on working on this cutting edge synth. They are just covering themselves so some idiot doesn't come along and 'rip' their years of hard work, by 're-sampling' the synth, and passing it off as their own.

That would be as bad as re-packaging some drum samples someone made up off their personal 909 or 808 like Goldbaby. Yes they are free for the punters to use to make best selling records. No, they are not there for chancers to either gain a bit of glory or make a bit of cash. The work is too important. It helps if you have ever been one of the people that slaved the long hours necessary to make these things up, just to give them away for free, pretty much. It's not too much to ask that Johnny-come-latelys don't take advantage of that. It's not even the financial loss, as such (probably very little), it's more about recognition and respect.

But don't quote me on that.

Maybe FXpansion have some 21st Century bastard nazi algorithm that detects when someone is using their softs, and it automatically sends the big bully boys 'round to your door to ask 'politely' to cease and desist.

Probably not. More likely explanation...

Pretty sure they don't care what you do with their software, even making hit records, even making up your own sample packs, as long as, well, you know...

Try making up a patch from something like Cypher2 from 'init'.

It sounds like 'thit'. Now, even if you know what you are doing, it takes a bit of time to get something good. I can get something good going in an hour or so.

But take that to the next level. Make that patch take advantage of every advanced feature that synth has. Doesn't just take hours, takes days! I bet there are patches in there that took weeks of work to knock up!

You are entering in to a very personal relationship with said software.

One, that some dude with a 'VST Sampler' can come along and just 'rip' in a matter of seconds. Hard to track down. You could probably get away with it as well.

So, while on first glance it might seem a little heavy-handed when FXpansion state up front: NO USING OUR HARD WORK TO MAKE UP YOUR OWN SAMPLE LIBRARIES.

On second glance, it seems perfectly reasonable in context.

Lighten up. You won't get arrested by using Cypher2 to make up your own sample libraries. But make sure your work is from 'init' and that you put in the same weeks/months to make up that stuff.

Oh, and if you are making up a commercial sample library and using, say, Cypher2 (I've just been using this as a random example throughout), then it's just common courtesy to email them and say so and try and work with them. They are very approachable and will appreciate it and respond in kind, I am sure.

They will let you know of any 'no-go' areas, and also give you useful advice on top (sometimes unofficial).

It's better to work with them, than to post stuff on a forum that they may or may not read. Better safe than sorry, kind of thing.

I'm almost a 100 percent sure that FXpansion would be more than happy for you to use their software to make up commercial sample libraries, if that is your wish. But you just need to follow a few rules.

+ Don't crib the hard work of the sound-designers.
+ Make up your own patches and multi-sample them in an original way.
+ Liaise with FXpansion to get their blessing and to make sure you are not stepping on any toes.

Hell, I bet if your work was any good, they'd lend you their top-notch graphic designer to help you promote what you'd done!

SAMPLED FROM CYPHER2! - TOTALLY ORIGINAL SOUNDS YOU WON'T FIND ANYWHERE ELSE!


Anyway, you had a legal question, and this was not a 'legal' answer.

In my experience of dealing with them, they are straight-shooters and straight-talkers. You might not like what they have to say, but you will always know where you stand with them.

Lighten up a bit. Realise that FXpansion have to protect their intellectual and creative property, and they aren't just being party-poopers or 'capitalist pigs'. Work with them, and if you have a good idea, they will give you back the respect you show them.


imho.


Then again, maybe they just have a strict rule of not allowing anyone to sample their stuff, anytime, any place, any where (the Martini rule).

Probably best to ask them directly for clarification.
"you're all GUI whores." - banned KVR member 'snooky'.

User avatar
zvenx
KVRAF
7149 posts since 16 Feb, 2005 from Kingston, Jamaica

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:51 pm

Sorry codec, didn't read all yo wrote so if I repeat some of what you said, apologies in advance.
I imagine, that with hardware synths you buy (non samples) you own it. No longer can the developer tell you how to or how not to use it, what to do with it etc.
Whereas with software you never buy it, you buy a license for use, governed by the developer, who I imagine can certainly have in their eula things that they are comfortable allowing you to do and blocking you from applications they do not.
rsp
sound sculptist

User avatar
sin night
KVRian
1240 posts since 1 Aug, 2006 from Italy

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:23 am

There's something similar in Lexicon plugins EULA (at least the MPX reverb), saying that you can't make impulse responses out of it...

I think the goal of such conditions is to avoid the creation of competing product while their product is still being sold... Legal ground? I don't know, but you accepted the EULA when installing/using the software so, unless a condition is legally void (but then you need a lawyer), you are tied to respect it if you use the software.

In FXpansion case, I remember (but I may be wrong) their EULA stated also that you have to get their permission to use their software to make sample libraries... I know for a fact there's at least a free library made with their software (it's one of the freewares made by GoldBaby - who provided also content for Geist, for the record), so I think it's probably a matter of making an arrangement with FXpansion... maybe you have higher chances if the result of your sampling is quite different from just using their software on a standard daw environment that everybody can buy (but this is just my opinion, I don't know their position on the subject).

Danilo Villanova
KVRist
237 posts since 30 Apr, 2018

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:28 am

Thanks @codec_spurt for your detailed answer. I understand FXpansion reasoning in not allowing their synths to be sampled but my question is whether or not they have any actual legal footing in doing so. A synth is still a music instrument and any audio recording I create with it should technically belong to me to do as I please with it, including selling it as a sample pack.

Their EULA does not specify anything, it just says than you can't use ANY of their plugins (including effects) to create any type of sampling library. That means, in effect, that If I create a patch from INIT using any of their synths (Which I ALWAYS do), I create a chord progression or a melody and turn it into an audio file, I have no copyright over that audio file that I created. Even if this melody or chord progression is my own musical composition, even if the sound was 100% designed by me and even if the sound was layered with 23 other synths and heavily processed through a guitar pedal or something.

Even if I use a synth from another company and I use one of their effects on it and turn it into audio, the audio I create from it is not my own asset to do with it as I please, according to their EULA.

What you and @zvenx say makes perfect sense from Fxpansion's perspective. But I think that their EULA might not have any legal footing anywhere and I think it definitely doesn't have any moral footing.

Any audio recording that someone creates with any musical instrument should belong to the person who created it, unless we're talking about sample-based instruments, which we are not.

User avatar
BertKoor
KVRAF
11268 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:16 am

Their EULA does not specify anything, it just says than you can't use ANY of their plugins (including effects) to create any type of sampling library. That means, in effect, that If I create a patch from INIT using any of their synths (Which I ALWAYS do), I create a chord progression or a melody and turn it into an audio file, I have no copyright over that audio file that I created.
No, that is not and cannot be correct.

If you are not permitted to make a sampling library, it does not mean you lost all copyright. Do the feck you want, except sell it off as a sample lib again.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
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jancivil
KVRAF
19029 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:44 pm

Danilo Villanova wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:28 am
Their EULA just says than you can't use ANY of their plugins (including effects) to create any type of sampling library. That means, in effect, that If I create a patch from INIT using any of their synths (Which I ALWAYS do), I create a chord progression or a melody and turn it into an audio file, I have no copyright over that audio file that I created. Even if this melody or chord progression is my own musical composition...
You've provided no reason for your conclusion that your composition is in fact a sample library. Turning the samples into a composition defines them as a work in its own right.

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3736 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:02 pm

zvenx wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:51 pm
Sorry codec, didn't read all yo wrote so if I repeat some of what you said, apologies in advance.
I imagine, that with hardware synths you buy (non samples) you own it. No longer can the developer tell you how to or how not to use it, what to do with it etc.
Whereas with software you never buy it, you buy a license for use, governed by the developer, who I imagine can certainly have in their eula things that they are comfortable allowing you to do and blocking you from applications they do not.
rsp
Yes, I get that. There is nothing that really stops them from forbidding you making Country and Western music with it as well. It's their software. We just license it. It's all good.

I was just giving some random thoughts. Nothing that should be taken seriously.

This is for OP and FXpansion to sort out. The OP gave far too little information about what he is trying to do and also is asking for legal advice on KVR! :help:

I probably should have just kept my big mouth shut. But, you know...
"you're all GUI whores." - banned KVR member 'snooky'.

Danilo Villanova
KVRist
237 posts since 30 Apr, 2018

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:23 pm

jancivil wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:44 pm
Danilo Villanova wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:28 am
Their EULA just says than you can't use ANY of their plugins (including effects) to create any type of sampling library. That means, in effect, that If I create a patch from INIT using any of their synths (Which I ALWAYS do), I create a chord progression or a melody and turn it into an audio file, I have no copyright over that audio file that I created. Even if this melody or chord progression is my own musical composition...
You've provided no reason for your conclusion that your composition is in fact a sample library. Turning the samples into a composition defines them as a work in its own right.
But it's tricky, because I can make a four bar composition and include it in a loop pack, or a sample pack, which are technically sample libraries.

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3736 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:27 pm

sin night wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:23 am
There's something similar in Lexicon plugins EULA (at least the MPX reverb), saying that you can't make impulse responses out of it...

I think the goal of such conditions is to avoid the creation of competing product while their product is still being sold... Legal ground? I don't know, but you accepted the EULA when installing/using the software so, unless a condition is legally void (but then you need a lawyer), you are tied to respect it if you use the software.

In FXpansion case, I remember (but I may be wrong) their EULA stated also that you have to get their permission to use their software to make sample libraries... I know for a fact there's at least a free library made with their software (it's one of the freewares made by GoldBaby - who provided also content for Geist, for the record), so I think it's probably a matter of making an arrangement with FXpansion... maybe you have higher chances if the result of your sampling is quite different from just using their software on a standard daw environment that everybody can buy (but this is just my opinion, I don't know their position on the subject).
Funnily enough, I made up a free Geist expander a few years back. I went back and forth with FXpansion. Asking what I could and couldn't do. Most of it was pretty clear cut.

One of the bugbears was me re-distributing GoldBaby's samples, which he made up for one of the original Geist expanders. It seems silly now, why I thought this would even be ok, but my reasoning was that anyone that already owned Geist would have these in the factory library (it wasn't an add on expander iirc), so what the hell?

My rationale was to have a one time installer that didn't even reference his samples, so things wouldn't get lost, and so anyone could just unpack the expander and be good to go. But no, FXpansion told me that was not allowed. I questioned them on this. They just restated their take on things. So that was that.

No harm done really, I just made references to those very samples that anyone would have in the factory library. No big deal at all.

I understand it now a lot better with hindsight. I didn't argue the toss. I thought it was a bit 'strict' at the time. But hey ho, these are the people making the software and they know better. And then we have people like GoldBaby who make the software what it is by providing content, and obviously they have strict rules about re-distribution. Like I said, I feel silly for even asking now. But we live and learn. No harm done.

I'm really not sure what is going on here between OP and FXpansion. I probably shouldn't have butted in. I don't know the state of play with the modern EULAs especially now Roli have taken the helm. I'm pretty sure though that even though I was not allowed to repackage those GoldBaby samples, that FXpansion or GoldBaby would have had no problem in me making a no.1 international best seller with said samples, and even better, telling everyone: Made by FXpansion, with GoldBaby samples! :love:

But moving those samples from one directory to another (for convenience) was a major no-no and against the EULA. After all, I got those samples from the factory install to begin with. It was not allowed to mess with them in any way, no matter how well intentioned. There wasn't a big fuss over it. I made it clear what I wanted to do. FXpansion made it clear that this was not allowed. And that was that.

It didn't really matter anyway. As the samples were in the factory install if you had bought the software legit. So it just referenced them, and if they were where they should have been, my patches and presets loaded perfectly. The presets were clearly labeled 'GoldBaby' as well, so it was quite clear who I was 'ripping off', or 'referencing' as I prefer to put it. I forget now, but I think I just made up some new patterns using the GoldBaby samples and they sounded better than anything else, so that was that. No subterfuge!

You mentioned EULAs and GoldBaby, and so I got a bit 'triggered'.

Sorry about that!

One day I'll get over it. :lol:


It all worked out quite well. FXpansion are no nonsense and straight talkers. I also found them very generous as well.

We're just chewing fat here, but if the OP has any serious concerns he really should contact them direct. He'll know where he stands pretty quickly!
"you're all GUI whores." - banned KVR member 'snooky'.

Danilo Villanova
KVRist
237 posts since 30 Apr, 2018

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:43 pm

codec_spurt wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:02 pm
zvenx wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:51 pm
Sorry codec, didn't read all yo wrote so if I repeat some of what you said, apologies in advance.
I imagine, that with hardware synths you buy (non samples) you own it. No longer can the developer tell you how to or how not to use it, what to do with it etc.
Whereas with software you never buy it, you buy a license for use, governed by the developer, who I imagine can certainly have in their eula things that they are comfortable allowing you to do and blocking you from applications they do not.
rsp
Yes, I get that. There is nothing that really stops them from forbidding you making Country and Western music with it as well. It's their software. We just license it. It's all good.

I was just giving some random thoughts. Nothing that should be taken seriously.

This is for OP and FXpansion to sort out. The OP gave far too little information about what he is trying to do and also is asking for legal advice on KVR! :help:

I probably should have just kept my big mouth shut. But, you know...
Sorry if I wasn't very clear. Imagine that I wanted to use Cypher to program some FM piano type sounds, record some chord progressios/melodies, layer it with some pads from another synth, bounce it to audio, and include the file in a sample library along with other audio files that I created with other synths, my guitar and voice and some drums.

I am able to do that with every instrument I own (unless they're sampled based). The reason I can do that (sell audio files) is because they are my assets. And I can do what I please with them.

By not allowing me to do that if I use their synths, FXpansion's EULA is implying that the hypothetical recording that I made is not in fact my asset, to do with as I please. If it was, in their eyes, my asset, then they wouldn't dare to forbid me to sell it. But they dare, which seems to imply that they believe that any type of audio file that I create using their plugins belongs to them and not me.

Anyway, I know is a murky subject and I don't wish to antagonize any company and I won't violate their EULA. But I'm pretty sure that there's no legal basis for them to make such demands and I think it's a massive overstep on their part for them to do so.

User avatar
zvenx
KVRAF
7149 posts since 16 Feb, 2005 from Kingston, Jamaica

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:45 am

codec_spurt wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:02 pm
zvenx wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:51 pm
Sorry codec, didn't read all yo wrote so if I repeat some of what you said, apologies in advance.
I imagine, that with hardware synths you buy (non samples) you own it. No longer can the developer tell you how to or how not to use it, what to do with it etc.
Whereas with software you never buy it, you buy a license for use, governed by the developer, who I imagine can certainly have in their eula things that they are comfortable allowing you to do and blocking you from applications they do not.
rsp
Yes, I get that. There is nothing that really stops them from forbidding you making Country and Western music with it as well. It's their software. We just license it. It's all good.

I was just giving some random thoughts. Nothing that should be taken seriously.

This is for OP and FXpansion to sort out. The OP gave far too little information about what he is trying to do and also is asking for legal advice on KVR! :help:

I probably should have just kept my big mouth shut. But, you know...
I wasn't at all attempting to doubt or discredit your opinion, was just giving mine, without fully reading yours.
rsp
sound sculptist

AnX
KVRAF
5423 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:33 am

if you want to record a non sample based synth, and sell those sounds, you are legally entitled to do so, regardless of some BS EULA

you are not breaking any law.

all you have to be 100% sure about, it that your recordings do not contain any of theirs.

of course, once you have legally recorded the sounds and are legally selling them, there is no reason to specify their origin anyway

User avatar
jancivil
KVRAF
19029 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: FXpansion EULA and sampling synths.

Post Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:40 am

"FXpansion's EULA is implying that the hypothetical recording that I made is not in fact my asset, to do with as I please."
It isn't, not at all. It's common, boilerplate. There is one thing you aren't allowed to do and not break your implicit contract. The other thing, why would they have a synth you can't record or develop music with? You for some reason want the definition between a package of samples as-is (one-shots of synth patches?) and some form of composition which is actually copyrightable by you to get to be murky, but the inclusion of the latter in your own package of samples doesn't redefine terms. This is a non-problem.

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