Sounds.com Royalty Free proof?

jwoodsidemusic
jwoodsidemusic Member Posts: 3 Member
Hi there,

I am wondering if anyone can help me with this situation or if anyone has reached out to NI about this.

So, back when NI still had sounds.com up and running, I downloaded some loops from a specific pack. Now, an artist wants to release a song with an instrumental I made using the loops. I Shazaam'd the original loops from Sounds.com as I always like to get ahead of things as I've heard so many nightmare stories regarding Splice about one person releasing a song first with royalty free samples and copyrighting them and then any other artist after that gets copyright strikes even though the samples are royalty free. Splice has thankfully made it much easier to combat with being able to download a royalty free proof for every single sound. But, my issue is, with Sounds.com being erased from NI site, how can I gain the royalty free proof from the sample? I don't think it'd be fair for NI to just say they can't provide that and potentially let one artist claim the sample just because they released it first and NI decided to remove Sounds.com with any sort of foresight of this issue arising?

Comments

  • Uwe303
    Uwe303 Moderator Posts: 2,913 mod

    Hello,

    I would say it's royalty free like it was as you paid and downloaded the loops. But best is i mark @Kaiwan_NI to be sure about that.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,046 Expert

    That’s definitely a good question.

    And the problem with using loops anyone else can use

  • Ojustaboo
    Ojustaboo Member Posts: 140 Helper

    Interesting. So I wonder what would happen if someone created a song only by using various loops and their voice, and it then becomes a hit.

    They will have some sort of copyright over their song, and I could see the situation arising where they sued someone as that other person used the same loop.

    I imagine something like:

    While the SugarBabes had permission and it wasn’t a bought loop, imagine if Gary Numan had bought a loop for his “are friends electric” rather than make it himself.

    and then the SugarBabes bought the same loop for their “Freak like me”

    In both songs it’s very very obvious it’s the same sample.

    Even more interesting would be if Gary had used 3 loops to make his, and the SugarBabes used those exact same 3 loops, I can imagine that while we’re free to use these loops, a record label would argue that it’s how their artist decided to use those loops that is copyrighted hence the SugarBabes have copied Gary’s work.

    And from there it gets more and more complicated. What if I chose the first 10 loops under the same subdirectory, and use them simultaneously to make my song, then it turns out someone else did the same, all I’ve done is moved 10 loops to my Daw the same as they did. If in my previous made up example it can be seen as copyright theft as they used 3 loops in exactly the same way, I’d have no chance.

    The more I think about this, the more it reminds me of my younger days when we would be quite inebriated sitting around discussing back to the future and try to make sense of all the possibilities lol.

  • jwoodsidemusic
    jwoodsidemusic Member Posts: 3 Member
    @Ojustaboo This happened recently with a Justin bieber song. The producers took a sample loop from splice and added drums and a essentially unknown artist/producer tried to say they stole his beat but then the actual producer of the splice pack said no it’s on splice for anyone to use. I believe you can copyright the master recording using loops but if another person uses the same loops you can’t copyright that part of it if that makes sense? Same goes for sites like cymatics. Two artists can have the exact same beat as let’s be honest these days producers can be lazy with samples and like you said just drag and drop and neither can copy right the samples used in their beats because cymatics and splice are 100% royalty free. It’s a bit easier now as I mentioned in my original post to fight copyright strikes as splice and cymatics have pdf royalty free agreements you can send to streaming services to be like hey this is royalty free sample so take down the strike. I’ve dealt with it myself on some major label stuff and I’ve never had issue but always am upfront with lawyers and artists of any royalty free samples I’ve used and always have a folder of the agreements and also links to the sites to prove.
  • Ojustaboo
    Ojustaboo Member Posts: 140 Helper

    @jwoodsidemusic Thanks, very interesting.

    True story, in my youth around the mid 80s, was in various bands. One, we recorded a song onto cassette tape, and never ever played the song anywhere. I still have that tape, the only copy.

    A couple of years or so ago was in a car, radio was on, they played a track and the synth lead was 100% identical to my one from the 80s, and mine wasn’t something easily accidentally copied like arpeggios etc.

    I was so stunned and excited that I was chatting to the driver explaining this and missed what the band was called lol, never heard it again. It was totally impossible for them to have heard me play it.

    My point being, there are only 12 notes and logic says, there’s only so many possible combinations, so people are going to come up with the same or very similar riffs all the time. There’s hundreds if not thousands of songs over the last century that used the same four or five chord patterns.

  • jwoodsidemusic
    jwoodsidemusic Member Posts: 3 Member
    @Ojustaboo 100% agree. That is why this recent Ed Sheeran lawsuit was so scary and frustrating. You can’t copyright a chord progression but apparently Marvin Gaye’s estate seems to think otherwise. That’s like trying to say if I used 2 + 2 = 4 first then you can’t after me. Chord progressions are simply math.
  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,046 Expert
    edited February 10

    On the other hand, an artist like Ed Sheeran cannot know his chord progression comes from Let’s get it on, specially if he used it in such a similar way (it’s not only the chord progression: the whole song is built very similarly…). Artists of this calibre have a whole entourage, and, in the unlikely case Ed didn’t know himself what he did (let’s say that at least he took a huuuuuge “inspiration”…), someone from the entourage or the label surely would have told him…

    Therefore, while in a case like this it can be correct not to ask him for money (but that’s only because he is Ed Sheeran…I’m sure that if it was me or you we would have to pay some good fees…), it’s also correct to point out what he did to people not knowing it and thinking those big artists are just pure geniuses…

    I mean….cmon…:

    If a mashup like this is so easy to do, there’s a good reason…😏

    Yes…there are only 12 notes…and if you are a musician and you are making something so similar to a huge hit like Let’s get it on…you KNOW what you are doing…😏

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,046 Expert
    edited February 10

    In Italy there was a big artist (Zucchero, who is quite known also abroad) that was constantly doing things like that.

    They never succeeded in having him proved that he was merely copying for all the cases they brought up. But at the 20th song someone brought the similarities to other hits to attention, people started to understand how he created his success…

    Another “strange” case in Italy was the one where Michael Jackson (or his producers) was proved to have copied his Will you be there from an Italian artist (Albano). In that case he has been judged guilty. In the end it all depends on the decision of the judge taking the case in his hands

    Yes…big artists DO take ‘inspirations”…if they are clever, they do it from minor or local artists…or unknown songs…and nobody will ever know it (even if you risk anyway, see MJ case). But if you take Let’s get it on…cmon…😏

    It doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Ed and Marvin’s are in any case 2 different songs. But you should simply admit it (or even better credit it from the beginning)…specially if you get caught up…

    Those cases will surface more and more. For many reasons: not only producers nowadays using more often premade loops, but also the arise of stems separation (in which case the rights to use something are not even covered by Royalty free agreements). And…we are in the internet era…how can you think not to get caught up so easily as before?😂

    That’s why sites like Tracklibs are arising. Which is, imo, a good thing: new artists can sample without having to spend fortunes to clear the sample, and the mind behind the work done get somehow paid anyway. You decide to make your song available, you get paid for it and it doesn’t matter if the new created material becomes a hit or not. It sounds a little bit more like “sharing” and “being a community”. Not the old “if you are making a ton of money with my work, I want a ton of money too”. In the end if a new artist succeeds in making your material bigger than before, it means also his work on it was meaningful

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,046 Expert

    Yeah…a very open and wide debate, this one…

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