Isn’t sampling an instrument and selling the recordings the same as reverse engineering?

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by Desire Inspires, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. Desire Inspires

    Desire Inspires To the stars through desire....

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  2. Zee

    Zee Member

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    It's closer to photography than reverse engineering you're merely capturing a reflection not recreating the instrument
     
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  3. d.healey

    d.healey Music Monkey

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    No and reverse engineering isn't always illegal.
     
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  4. DSmolken

    DSmolken Senior Member

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    Often a violation of copyrights or license agreements, especially with soft synths, digital hardware synths or drum machines which contain samples or copyrighted algos, but definitely not the same as reverse engineering. Sampling just captures the output, like a static picture; reverse engineering is figuring out how the original works, and creating something that works in the same way. The results of reverse engineering will generally be much more flexible, but getting the reverse engineering to work right and produce the same output as the originals can be a lot of work.

    And it's possible to get the right to reverse-engineer (or sample) products from the owners of the rights, too, so it's not always a violation.
     
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  5. rudi

    rudi Member

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    A different set of laws applies to physical instrument manufacture (and digital algorithms) and sound recordings.

    In the case of physical instrument, e.g a piano or guitar if the instrument uses a patented method or innovation to produce its sound, that method can be protected. If someone tries to make a copy of the registered method they infrige intellectual properties. Likewise if someone makes a copy of the said instrument AND tries to pass it off as the original,they are violating the trademark of the manufacturer and liable to infringement.

    While the mechanical part of the process can be patented, the actual sound produced by the instrument is not, i.e you don't need a license to use your guitar or piano.

    In the case of a recording of a sound or performance, it is considered a creative endeavour or performance, and can be protected by copyright laws.

    So if you are Steinway & Sons, the sound your instrument produces is not protected and can be recorded freely by anyone. However, if you record the sounds, that counts as a performance, and that intellectual property can be protected under copyright laws. A Moog sound cannot be copyrighted, but a recording of a Moog sound can be. Another analogy would be artist's paints - the manufacture, brand, product itself can be protected, but a painting made by the artist using those paints are protected under creatie copyright laws

    These laws were formulated before digital technology existed, at a time no one thought that one day it would enable accurate reproductions of existing sounds.

    The fact that a lot of work and expertise goes into making a grand piano, doesn't cover the sound it produces is a relic of the pre-digital age..,
     
  6. rudi

    rudi Member

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    PS Some digital products are actually produced under a license, e.g "Authorised by...". I also think that at least one orchestral sound provider voluntarily pays a fee to the performers of one of their sound libraries.
     
  7. d.healey

    d.healey Music Monkey

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    I would hope all developers pay their musicians :P
     
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  8. Wally Garten

    Wally Garten Active Member

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    Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying here, but even in the modern age, you wouldn't want intellectual property laws that required people to pay the inventors of musical instruments for recordings of the sounds those instruments make. The inventors are already paid for their work at the point that someone buys the instrument. That's their piece of it -- that's what the patent system is for. You don't want to add another layer.

    The clearance process is already nightmarish enough just for sampled recordings -- can you imagine trying to chase down every instrument used on a record and parcel out licensing payments to instrument makers?
     
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  9. rudi

    rudi Member

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    @d.healey
    Yes musicians are and should be paid (and well paid) for their performance - I was referring to repeat fees, i.e for each sale of the library they are being paid a small royalty in addition to their original performance fee :2thumbs:

    @Wally Garten
    Sorry I wasn't clearer... I was addressing the original poster point about "reverse engineering", and trying to explain how a recording is treated differently from a physical instrument in terms of copyright. I wasn't advocating having to hunt licenses for every single piece of equipment used by every single performer.:grin:
     
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  10. VinRice

    VinRice ... i am a robot ...

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    It's not reverse engineering and reverse engineering is generally not illegal (print cartridges and Nespresso pods spring to mind).
    Spitfire pays performer royalties.
     
  11. TGV

    TGV Senior Member

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    Reverse engineering would actually be building a violin by listening to (custom-made) recordings of it. Granted, this is its hardest form, black-box reverse engineering, but that's what reverse engineering is.
     
  12. Wally Garten

    Wally Garten Active Member

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    Gotcha -- that makes sense.
     

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