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What happens to your songs after you sell your libraries?

Geomir

Active Member
Hello everyone! I have a very simple (I think) question.

Let's say you own Library A. You use this library (among others) to write a specific song (let's say Song A). Then you publish your song in SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, BandCamp, etc... Some people even buy your Song A and they enjoy it.

But next year, you decide to sell (license transfer) your Library A. And here comes my question:

- Is Song A still legal, only because when it was created you were the owner of Library A? Can you continue to sell it, like nothing happened?

- Or is it illegal, because it contains a library that you don't own anymore, and so you must delete it immediately from all the above mentioned platforms, and stop selling it?
 

wst3

my office these days
Moderator
The EULAs for the libraries I own - that allow resale - (yes, I've read most of them, comprehended several) either state explicitly that you retain the rights to tracks you create, or ignore the issue entirely. I have not (yet) seen a license that would require you to delete the track.

If you think about it from a practical perspective, if you've shared or sold the track you couldn't do anything about it anyway.

Not to suggest someone has not tried to tie a composers hands, but I haven't run across it.
 

halfwalk

Active Member
I've wondered that myself. You buy a license to use that sound in your productions, but then when you give up that license to use those sounds, it seems logical that you would no longer be allowed to use them in your productions. It's not just about "take those sounds off your hard drive," it seems like it would also be like "stop using those sounds to make money since you don't have a license for them anymore." This would imply to me that continuing to sell music I've made with now-unlicensed sounds is possibly against the terms I've agreed to.

You would be profiting from someone else's intellectual property for which you no longer have a valid license to do so.

But I've asked this on a few different forums and the response was basically the non-answer of "who's keeping track anyway," or "nobody would enforce that even if true."

I think it just goes to show how ambiguous some of the legal stuff is. I'd wager that it's entirely possible that legal action could theoretically be taken since we might not even be sure (and to be fair, the devs might not even be sure either) what we are actually agreeing to.

But as for anything actually resulting from that legal action, that's a whole different story. But who knows, people are suing over chord progressions, so why not sue over licensing?

(obviously i'm no lawyer, so i'm undoubtedly wrong about stuff here)
 
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Robert_G

It really is just an expensive hobby for me
If i buy a graphic artist type software....then use that software to design a logo for my company....then sell the software to someone else....would i have to change or redo my logo? Of course not. Once you make something....its yours...no one claim anything against you.
 

Mike Fox

Senior Member
I don't think the developer would stand a chance in court for something like that. The main reason being is that once you create an original composition, it automatically becomes your copyrighted property.

Then again, stranger things have happened in court.
 

halfwalk

Active Member
If i buy a graphic artist type software....then use that software to design a logo for my company....then sell the software to someone else....would i have to change or redo my logo? Of course not. Once you make something....its yours...no one claim anything against you.
The difference is that sample libraries are recorded performances which are licensed, whereas e.g. Photoshop is just a tool. You aren't giving away Photoshop every time someone sees your logo. But if you license some stock art to make that logo, and then continue distributing derivative works beyond the scope of that license, that's another thing.

Obviously if you sell your piano, that doesn't mean you have to take down all your recordings that used the piano. But if you licensed the work of a pianist, and used a digital copy of their intellectual property as a component of your own work, that's a different story.

Sample libraries aren't the same as software, in my mind anyway. They are audio files for which we purchase (or rent) the license to use as our own. If we cede that license, but keep passing those audio files (i.e. other peoples' performances) as our own work, that doesn't seem kosher. They are recorded performances that we are essentially "remixing." And an unauthorized remix might have the potential to get you into trouble.

Legalities aside, I wouldn't feel comfortable making money using someone else's intellectual property if I had already given up my license to do so. And this is definitely, I assume, at least a small part of why some devs have a no-resale policy, just to avoid this whole grey area in the first place.
 
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erica-grace

Senior Member
You buy a license to use that sound in your productions, but then when you give up that license to use those sounds, it seems logical that you would no longer be allowed to use them in your productions. It's not just about "take those sounds off your hard drive," it seems like it would also be like "stop using those sounds to make money since you don't have a license for them anymore." This would imply to me that continuing to sell music I've made with now-unlicensed sounds is possibly against the terms I've agreed to.
True, you would no longer be able to use any of the sounds after you sell your license, but any intellectual property you create while you still owned the license can continue to earn you money. You don't lose your intellectual property once you sell the samples or software used to create that intellectual property.
 

rocking.xmas.man

Active Member
If i buy a graphic artist type software....then use that software to design a logo for my company....then sell the software to someone else....would i have to change or redo my logo? Of course not. Once you make something....its yours...no one claim anything against you.
That comparison fails - how about a Clipart though - you buy a license to use that pic in your creations.

in both cases the real question is: what about the art you made but never published?
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
Imagine if you cancelled your EW Composer Cloud subscription and then had to inform all the film directors that your music needed to be pulled? Developers are just concerned about you "selling" your library to someone else while continuing to use it yourself (pirating, in a sense).
 

halfwalk

Active Member
So we should be able to buy a VI, make a track with it, then file a chargeback on the credit card (or get refund if dev allows it) , essentially getting the sounds for free, and the license still works in our favor?
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
So we should be able to buy a VI, make a track with it, then file a chargeback on the credit card (or get refund if dev allows it) , essentially getting the sounds for free, and the license still works in our favor?
That's precisely why you can't get a refund after activating a library.
 

erica-grace

Senior Member
So we should be able to buy a VI, make a track with it, then file a chargeback on the credit card (or get refund if dev allows it) , essentially getting the sounds for free, and the license still works in our favor?
Of course not. That's returning, which is different from reselling.
 

halfwalk

Active Member
Of course not. That's returning, which is different from reselling.
But whether it's returning or reselling, the end result is the same: I had a license when I used the sounds in my composition, and then gave up that license when I was done using it. And whether by returning or reselling, I recouped some (or all) of the costs of said license. Either way, whether returning or reselling, I paid money, got license, used sounds, gave up license, and received money back.

Anyway, I'm just ignorantly playing devil's advocate here, and it really doesn't matter in the end. De facto vs. de jure, and all that. Composers gonna compose.
 
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Robert_G

It really is just an expensive hobby for me
Many VI companies have it in their terms/policy that their individual samples cant 'stand alone' in your track that you would make money off of. Especially true with hybrid or synth samples. That makes sense.

But once your piece is complete with half your template taking part in the track....those blended in sounds and melodies are yours. No one can claim anything on you.
 

Mike Fox

Senior Member
Many VI companies have it in their terms/policy that their individual samples cant 'stand alone' in your track that you would make money off of. Especially true with hybrid or synth samples. That makes sense.

But once your piece is complete with half your template taking part in the track....those blended in sounds and melodies are yours. No one can claim anything on you.
I think this is the reality of it.

As soon as developers start suing their former customers for said reasons, it's end game for the sample world.
 

halfwalk

Active Member
Many VI companies have it in their terms/policy that their individual samples cant 'stand alone' in your track that you would make money off of. Especially true with hybrid or synth samples. That makes sense.

But once your piece is complete with half your template taking part in the track....those blended in sounds and melodies are yours. No one can claim anything on you.
So I license a sound for a specific placement, and use it as is, per the license agreement.

Now, knowing that I have another project coming up, I slap some reverb/FX on that same sound and render it, and stash it away on my hard drive. Does this mean I no longer need a license to use it in future works, because I've made it "mine?" Even though the original license was just for the one project?
 

Robert_G

It really is just an expensive hobby for me
So I license a sound for a specific placement, and use it as is, per the license agreement.

Now, knowing that I have another project coming up, I slap some reverb/FX on that same sound and render it, and stash it away on my hard drive. Does this mean I no longer need a license to use it in future works, because I've made it "mine?" Even though the original license was just for the one project?
...and I thought I was a deep thinker......
 
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