Sample Library Depreciation thread

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by NYC Composer, May 10, 2019.

  1. Daryl

    Daryl Senior Member

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    It's not just the software we're licencing, it's the recordings. Two different things. One is covered by re-sale law, the other isn't.
     
  2. Alex Fraser

    Alex Fraser Senior Member

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    Yeah, I believe Spitfire do at least. Maybe others.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    NYC Composer

    NYC Composer Senior Member

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    Right. Let’s just call it “the product”. :) We’re buying a license to use the product, i.e. sound recordings AND a way to utilize them.
     
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  4. Daryl

    Daryl Senior Member

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    Yes, and now if you want to sell that licence, you have to remove all the audio recordings, you've so far used from your music. Is that now OK?
     
  5. chocobitz825

    chocobitz825 Senior Member

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    I recall cinesamples talking about how they did too
     
  6. OP
    OP
    NYC Composer

    NYC Composer Senior Member

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    I thought about that. You’d definitely have to lose MIDI re-creations. If it was something you’d used a lot and you routinely print everything that’s another thing, but if you were happy enough to use the product a lot, why sell it?

    Where I see this as a more useful exercise is avoiding buyer’s remorse through re-sale/license transfer early on.
     
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  7. FriFlo

    FriFlo Senior Member

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    Yes! I get that and I don't fight about the fact that it is the way it is currently. All I am saying is:
    1) Law is a matter of human interpretation- some ideas are very firm and last for centuries, others are fragile and debatable and can therefore change quickly!
    2) The fact that sample libraries (sustains and short notes type of sample libraries) are legally treated like musical recordings seems to be a very fragile idea IMO ... it is highly debatable, wether they are recordings of music. The legalities for audio recordings have been designed without anyone anticipating sample libraries ...
    3) The reason that recordings have other legalities than physical objects is that those recordings always were about artistic content (music, entertainment, etc). This intellectual property has to be protected for the producer, as its his intellectual creation and not tied to its physical form. In the case of those sample libraries, it is not about intellectual properties, if they don't contain any music. A sample library is clearly much closer to a synth plugin in its sense that it is a tool to make music. The fact that it contains recordings of instruments is made an argument to apply different rules, because it suits the developers of these libraries, not because it makes a lot of sense.
    Of course, that doesn't mean I am in favour of using the recordings from a sample library I bought to release another sample library (that is clearly theft!).
    But I can see no reason why a sample library should not be resellable, if a synth or plugin without samples is ... that is just how it is right now. Could change any day, if you ask me ...
     
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  8. Shiirai

    Shiirai Resident Crow

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    Actually, 'fit for purpose' is not an actual requirement to return something. You can return something within x time, no matter what the reason is, if you are not satisfied with your purchase. It's consumer protection, at least it is in my country.

    I actually *get* the no-resale policies. We are mostly talking about licenses here. I don't particularly mind them. But the no-return policies on sound libraries is bizarre and unethical, especially because often, the only way to listen beforehand is by listening to (usually) processed demos that don't particularly sound like the base product. *Which is false advertising, whether you like that statement or not*.

    I understand that most companies are not actively trying to screw over their customers, but that doesn't stop them from doing it anyway.

    EDIT: People seem to choose to interpret this as me saying sample-library producers go out of their way to scam people. To which I say, learn to read, that's clearly not what it says. They're not trying to, but it happens anyway.

    And don't get me started on how unethical invasive DRM is. If I get a license to do anything, like a license to drive, I get checked every so often. Gonna need that license to not go to jail and stuff. But the government does not put shit on my car to make sure that only I can drive it, or make my car immovable when I lose a usb stick. I'm just no longer allowed to drive if I don't have license. *That's what licenses are*. The fact that it's really hard for companies to check whether your sample use is licensed or not is very sad for them, but completely irrelevant.

    Smaller companies can't put DRM on their libraries? Tough luck, that's the situation most indie Game Developers are in. You can still return your bloody games though.

    I can't believe how willing people have become to just let companies do whatever the hell they please and actually justify behavior just because it's the easiest way.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  9. muk

    muk Senior Member

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    ****Tangent on EU court ruling concerning resales of copyrighted material*********

    Reading this, there seem to be similarities to sample libraries:

    https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=d1ff4369-afcc-4879-97fa-7a8afd8b3380

    "Under the EU's software copyright law (Software Directive 2009) the first sale in the EU of a copy of a computer program by the right-holder, exhausts the distribution right (provided by copyright) within the EU of that copy. Oracle argued there was no sale as its licensees did not own the copy on their servers but were merely licensed to use it. The CJEU said a sale was "an agreement by which a person, in return for payment, transfers to another person his rights of ownership in an item of tangible or intangible property belonging to him".


    Now, sample library developers are taking the same stance as Oracle: you do not own the copy of the recordings contained in a sample library, you simply bought a license to use them. There are differences between software and recording copyrights. But be aware that the code of a software program is just as well covered by a copyright as musical recordings are (albeit by a different one).

    "It means software licence agreements and all their terms and conditions (not just the one prohibiting transfer) can be ignored by European courts if the licence period is indefinite, and probably even if it is tied to the lengthy period of copyright in Europe - 70 years after death of last surviving programmer. Such a licence will be regarded as a simple sale and sales of personal property cannot be tagged with conditions on how the property can be used."

    The decisive factor, apparently, was that the license for usage of the software was granted for an indefinite period. And that is exactly the same for sample libraries. So there is a possibility that sample developers cannot tag libraries with 'conditions on how the property can be used'. At least this rule applies explicitly to software that is protected by copyright law.

    So, in the EU users can resell a personal license that grants usage of copyrighted software. Maybe the same reasoning also allows resales of personal licences that grant usage of copyrighted recordings. Maybe. It depends on whether any of the differences between software and sound recording copyrights have any bearing on the case. That's for lawyers to discuss, and judges to decide (I'm no lawyer, and I am not giving counsel nor advice). Until there is a court ruling we simply do not know.

    ********************************************************************

    Apart from this, I very much agree with what @Shiirai wrote.
     
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  10. Alex Fraser

    Alex Fraser Senior Member

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    Sure, but in the UK the rules that govern tangible goods and digital downloads differ in some ways. At least last time I looked!

    As for the issues regarding resale of licenses and copyright/royalties - I'm not informed enough to pass judgement and it seems like it's a moving target anyway.

    But at the risk of making myself unpopular <takes deep breath> - I actually agree with the no-resale policies of sample library developers: Piracy, the need to pay musician royalties on sales, the cost of any DRM are all significant hurdles to overcome for any developer and a no-resale policy as an alternative seems reasonable to me.

    I'll admit - the bigger the companies get and the more resources they have to manage this stuff - then the less valid this argument. But I think the extensive walkthroughs, demos, videos, manual downloads etc etc are enough to make an informed buying decision outside the requirement for a demo or option to resell. I don't feel short changed or tricked by the developers.

    I get that many would disagree, that's cool. Some good points have been made to the contrary.
    I'll get my coat...
    A
     
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  11. muk

    muk Senior Member

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    Really hope there is no problem with stating an opinion respectfully as you have done Alex.

    In my opinion no matter how extensive the walkthroughs, manuals, sound examples etc. For me it is not enough to make an informed decision. I would never buy an instrument simply based on specs, manual, videos, and sound examples. I wouldn't buy a midi keyboard without playing it first either. And yet, with sample libraries we have to. And after we can not even return or resell it.

    No matter the technicalities behind, I find these terms to be very onesided, unfair, and punishing to the customers. And yet, in years, sample developers - and especially some of the large players - haven't shown the least inclination to change any of that.
     
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  12. chocobitz825

    chocobitz825 Senior Member

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    i agree.

    still this is one of those things that bothers me when I see developers talk about their upcoming releases here and everyone starts dropping their personal wishlist of features that should fit only their workflow, and then when it doesnt do everything that everyone wants, there's hell to pay.

    I get the desire for resale if you're not happy...and I understand the desire for wanting trial periods, but for all this good talk about the laws and rights of consumers, i dont see many people offering reasonable ideas for how that actually works. its not really the burden of the consumer to figure this out, I'll admit, but lets be fair, many developers are also in the same business of music creation, scoring etc., as their customers. aren't we a community? does it not benefit us all to be fair and figure this out?
     
  13. Guy Rowland

    Guy Rowland Senior Member

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    It's about this point in these threads that someone says "it's a shame TrySound never developed properly". That was as good an answer to these dilemmas as I've found. (sorry if someone got there before me and I missed it).
     
  14. chocobitz825

    chocobitz825 Senior Member

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    if i understand correctly, try-sound is like a virtual pc session with the software in it?
     
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  15. thesteelydane

    thesteelydane Senior Member

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    The elephant in the room with regards to comparing sample libraries to physical goods, and re-selling, is that there is no wear and tear on a library. You're getting exactly the same product as if bought "new" from the developer. A used car....not so much.

    In that sense, as someone else pointed out, reselling is worse for the developer than piracy. The pirate was probably never going to buy anything from me anyway, but someone reselling one of my products is robbing me of the single most valuable thing to a developer: a person who has a need for one of my products, and is willing to pay for it.

    This is my current thinking on the matter, it may evolve as I learn more about the business. Right now, I don't think allowing resales is a wise business decision for small developers. Apart from that I am of course interested in having only satisfied customers. The suggestion that developers don't allow resales in an attempt to trick or con customers is ludicrous- if I was in the business of scamming people, I wouldn't bother doing it with sample libraries - it's FAR too much work creating these things to be worth it, and I think there are far more effective ways of scamming people out there.

    This is a labor of love for me, but it's also a business that pays the bills - I'm trying to balance those two facts best I can, as I believe most small developers are.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  16. Alex Fraser

    Alex Fraser Senior Member

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    A good solution to the "try before you buy" issue is the Complete Patch Walkthrough Video (™)
    For example, if you're so inclined, you can listen to several hours of someone demoing every single patch in Spitfire's eDNA library. Such a thing is easy and cheap to produce for any developer and (imho) goes some way to solving the issues mentioned in this thread.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  17. Guy Rowland

    Guy Rowland Senior Member

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    Yes. It still exists, run by Best Service - https://www.bestservice.com/try-sound.html - but sadly it seems the only products on it now are their own and VSL SEs. I remember it was instrumental in my decision to buy Symphobia 1. You booked a 20min session, and played the instrument in their servers. Latency was high and there was birdsong over the output, but was happy with both of these compromises.

    I'd have thought today the tech is a lot simpler and smoother than 10 years ago. Devs should look into this, no reason why they couldn't set it up themselves.
     
  18. Shiirai

    Shiirai Resident Crow

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    Pretty much. There's also some legal stuff going on with copyright on samples. I get all that. And I don't *actually* mind not being able to resell plugins.

    What I find unacceptable is being unable to return the product (or basically, terminate the contract and receive a refund) when it turns out a product is not what was promised or what you expected. All purchases should have a testing period.

    And no, watching other people use soundbanks or software isn't a good substitute for this. You don't ask a car salesman to drive the car around for a bit before you buy it. There's no point. You need to test-drive it yourself.
     
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  19. Daryl

    Daryl Senior Member

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    But again you make the same mistake. You talk about musical recordings. It has nothing to do with music. The content of the recording is irrelevant. It can be anything. Sound effect libraries are equally protected.
     
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  20. Brian Nowak

    Brian Nowak Active Member

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    I've just gotten into the habit of being very choosy about what I buy anymore. I talk with people who use it if it's old enough to have users with experience in it. I am fortunate to be able to be on relatively good terms with some pros. I heed their advice as they generally know what I'm after.

    Every library is going to have some regrettable aspects to it. Buyer beware on any new stuff. You are a guinea pig and whether or not you like it, the current status quo is that if you hate the library you're basically screwed. So proceed with caution.

    Just remember - in 90% of the cases where you find a library objectionable somebody, somewhere, is using it to make music. And there is a very good chance somebody is making money with it.

    I was "disappointed" with cinebrass because of some of the problems I have with the library. It flew in the face of a lot of pro people who told me it was absolutely wonderful. For a while I was pretty upset because it didn't do what I wanted it to do. Felt like a waste of money.

    But then I figured out that when I use it for what it's very good at, it's an exceptional experience. And that's how I treat all my libraries - different developers and products existing on a spectrum of capability and flexibility. So I don't have any real "regrets" so far, and I avoid developers with a truly terrible reputation. There are a couple that I know grease the wheels on their demos push the envelope on honest representations of their stuff.
     
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