Tunecore rejects music made by NI - Damage Rhythmic Suits (Resolved -Incorrect Reaction by TuneCore)

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  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,748 mod
    edited February 2022

    Wow, that title is alarming as heck, you almost scared me there for a sec I thought something had drastically changed.

    Tunecore is just a distributor, the AI is there just to prevent people from uploading copyrighted or plagiarized content. Online platforms are always vague when it comes to copyright claims, I think they do this on purpose as a deterrent. Any professional will fight the claim but since most aren't they just accept it without contesting it, this diminishes the amount of stuff they have to deal with. A claim is often nothing, it's when you escalate it that things can start to get real.

    To be clear you're free to use any NI stuff for commercial use, terms might change a bit with instruments done with 3rd parties but basically, the only thing you can't do is repackage content, and this is not something TuneCore, DistroKid, etc, care about.

    To give some perspective there are millions of songs using default presets that aren't tweaked even a tiny bit, and it's fine, also no one cares what DAW you used for legal stuff, now if you use a very similar sound with a very similar melody then you might get into problems, the only case I know like this is Katy Perry losing 3 million over an ostinato, a case where a jury that knew nothing about music decided that the songs "were too similar" :


    For that stuff to happen and have serious repercussions there needs to be a lot of money to be gained, so I guess for a real professional composer your worst nightmare would be to score a huge movie and realize later that you used a melody+sound very similar to something else that already exists, it can happen by accident to anyone but you need it to be really big to get into actual legal problems. Similarly, Marvin Gaye also won a lawsuit VS Pharrell over a similar chord progression, there are literally millions of songs with that same chord progression, he still won but again... major money is involved here.

    Anyway, the charts are filled with literally whatever is the most popular 808 kick/bass that year, nowadays people are screen capping twitch streams to get exactly the sounds popular producers use and it's all good because the sounds themselves don't matter, its more about how they're used.

    @somecomposer said:

    In any case, thinking about this further, even is I was to use a generic loop, and someone else would have published it first through TuneCore or a Publisher, and said person was to sue me that I used his/her music/creation, the lawsuit would fail, because said person didn't actually create said loop.

    If you read the above then: No, it's not that simple. What matters most is how similar the song is overall and/or how important in the song is the particular part that is claimed to be "copied" is.

    If I make a song with a free loop that is the center of the song and extremely recognizable release it then you use it too also in an extremely recognizable way I might win if I or whoever handles my publishing decides to go after you... If I don't own the Master and a big label does then I don't even have a say in it, they will chase you with an expensive legal team and you will probably lose.

  • somecomposer
    somecomposer Member Posts: 14 Member
    edited February 2022

    "To be clear you're free to use any NI stuff for commercial use, terms might change a bit with instruments done with 3rd parties but basically, the only thing you can't do is repackage content, and this is not something TuneCore, DistroKid, etc, care about."

    Yes agreed, and I was scared too btw. The language was pretty legal heavy and vague...

    And also, agreed, there has to be a hit to be any interest in these kind of things and there has to be a creative design, not synth sounds and loops etc.

    "If you read the above then: No, it's not that simple. What matters most is how similar the song is overall and/or how important in the song is the particular part that is claimed to be "copied" is."

    I respectful disagree. For a case to become tangible, all aspects will be looked into and I cannot imagine a judge going in favor to someone who used a loop that doesn't belong to him/her in the first place.

    The loop , will have to be bought by the suing artist exclusively, in order for the artist to then sue another for using it.

    Using a NI loop and then start suing another for using it, if won, will completely invalidate NI's policy, and if nothing else, I don't think NI will have this happening because it will cause people leaving NI and similar companies, in droves...

    In any case, it ended up being a false alarm and I have e-mails by the company explaining the content of the text and how it is actually interpreted.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,748 mod
    edited February 2022

    I respectful disagree. For a case to become tangible, all aspects will be looked into and I cannot imagine a judge going in favor to someone who used a loop that doesn't belong to him/her in the first place.

    No offense taken my friend but there's a big difference between what we imagine should logically happen and reality no matter how much sense your assumptions actually make.

    I also couldn't imagine that a jury that doesn't know where a C note is on a piano to be making decisions worth 3millions, yet... it happened; it's not an assumption or hypothetical, it happened. What is factual is non-debatable. A free loop is not anyone's intellectual property but the song made with it is. People can't own ostinatos just like they cant own free loops yet Katy lost, people also cant own chord progressions yet Pharel lost...

    You also have to realize it's rarely the artist chasing you... It's the team, the team has no clue what is a free loop, synth preset, or whatever, all they know is it sounds similar and smells like money. You can personally view a free loop as being a "free-for-all" sort of thing, but from the moment someone uses it, it's not unless you use it very differently or no one ever finds out.

    Future and Juice WRLD used this free loop to make this song, if you go and make a hit with it too good luck fighting the label's legal team, I guess u could try uploading it to tunecore to see what happens.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,761 Expert

    Yes, that is the problem with judging what creative work is. And what is not. What is the copy and what is not...

  • Vinark
    Vinark Member Posts: 15 Member
    edited February 2022

    This is very interesting and scary! It might be the reason composers/producers like Junky XL create their own loops and sounds always and orchestra mokups get recorded with areal orchestra. If such a composer created something to similar to someones older work in any way it would be very profitable to win a lawsuit (millions) and not that difficult given that it will be judged by a jury of laymen. Some very strange cases because of similarity have been won (and very obvious lost, like I got the power by Snap, which was a real copy of someones song). And yes this could seriously degrade the worth of most NI libraries.

  • somecomposer
    somecomposer Member Posts: 14 Member
    edited February 2022

    Agreed that it could perhaps happen, but, I have not come across a case such as this.

    And also, It's all down to how much money a song/music makes. Where there is a hit, there is a writ.

  • somecomposer
    somecomposer Member Posts: 14 Member

    But it is all in perspective though. Junky XL works with multi million dollar films and the contracts he signed are very heavy.

    It would be insane to depend on NI for instance, but he has the funds to create whatever loop and record with the best orchestras.

  • somecomposer
    somecomposer Member Posts: 14 Member

    Hi, I don't know if you read my latest update, this was a false alarm.

    It was bad wording from TuneCore which got back to me and confirmed that they didn't question the Virtual Instruments I used, its copyrights or insinuated that I lifted a mastered recording (although the wording said something very similar...)

    They simply wanted me to confirm that I owned the copyrights to the song I was about to upload.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,761 Expert

    @Vinark said

    This is very interesting and scary! It might be the reason composers/producers like Junky XL create their own loops and sounds always and orchestra mokups get recorded with areal orchestra.

    I do not think so. If one has budget for, he uses real players. It is always better than any Library. But they probably compose it using also orchestral libraries.

    And the same/similar with loops, sounds, synth patches... If one wants to sound unique, to have sound signature that is unique to him, best way is to use something that others do not have.

    So, in my opinion, they do not do it because of fear someone might them sue, but because of creativity.

    There are two basic sorts of people. One wants have/wear the same like others, the other refuses have/wear the same like others.....

  • Vinark
    Vinark Member Posts: 15 Member

    Agreed! Just thinking out loud if copyrights was maybe also a consideration.

    I am not sure if you could use the shakuhachi sample of sledghammer, which was a standard sample of the first commercial sampler, without problems?

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,761 Expert

    @Vinark said

    I am not sure if you could use the shakuhachi sample of sledghammer, which was a standard sample of the first commercial sampler, without problems?

    Well, that is what D-One has pointed out. Under certain circumstances any similarity might matter. The main question to be answered is. Is work B (or its significant elements) sort of copy of A (or its significant elements)? Is work B inspired by work A? And mainly. Does work B make profit on success of work A.

    This leads to question. Several wellknown scores are inspired by melody structure of ancient La Folia, which has been in past centuries used by hundreds of composers/musicians in their music.

    If I use it in a successfull song, am I in serious trouble? Hard to say.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,748 mod
    edited February 2022

    @Kubrak said:

    This leads to question. Several wellknown scores are inspired by melody structure of ancient La Folia, which has been in past centuries used by hundreds of composers/musicians in their music.

    In that particular case you're safe because after 50-70 years of the author's death (depending on the country) anything copyrighted falls under the public domain and it's free to use, this is true for books, paintings, invention patents, etc... An automated service like tunecore or distrokid might still auto flag it but should be easy to dispute.

    In the world of film scoring music tends to have a much higher complexity compared to more pop or urban 'beat' based genres so I assume issues should be far less common. At the end of the day its like you said, this is all very subjective when it cames to creative work, I wouldn't worry much about it unless an actual problem happens.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,761 Expert

    It was more "question" than question. Still interesting. I know that Copyright "expires" some decades after the death of the author. But still.

    This knows almost everyone:

    And it is based on La Folia/Sarabanda, structure that dates at least 400 years back. And no-one knows really what it comes from....

    That was used by Handel:


    Vivaldi:

    Rachmaninov:

    And many, many others....

    The life was much easier before Copyright came. And has been used to very extreme.....

    Sorry, for being a bit offtopic.

  • somecomposer
    somecomposer Member Posts: 14 Member


    "The life was much easier before Copyright came. And has been used to very extreme....."

    By greedy bureaucrats who know zero about music and live on the hard work of the artists...

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