[LAU] Hammersound: no soundfonts ?

Roberto Gordo Saez roberto.gordo at gmail.com
Tue Feb 24 05:08:34 EST 2009

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 09:15:20AM +0000, Gordon JC Pearce wrote:
> Roberto Gordo Saez wrote:
> e
>> bundled on a free (GPL or CC-BY licensed) soundfont, there were legal
>> problems in the past, see this article by Walt Gregg:
>> http://freepats.zenvoid.org/walt/README.htm
> From the above:
> "Because of the threat of a copyright suit, however frivolous, sound samples
> from digital synthesizers are off limits."
> That's utter nonsense.  If I create a patch on my Ensoniq VFX and sample  
> it, then *I* hold the copyright on that sample, not Ensoniq (or rather  
> the company that bought the company that bought Ensoniq).

It looks that you haven't been sued yet ;-) Yes, it is completely stupid,
but I was once "kindly" contacted by a company for using their samples
contained in the ROM of a synth in a soundfont and I really have not the
time and effort to find if that is a legally valid claim or not.

They claim that you don't hold the copyright on the samples, you hold the
copyright on the composition, which is a derivative work from the
samples. The manufacturer gives you a nonexclusive permission to use
their samples in the resulting work, usually royalty free... The exact
terms vary between manufacturers, but usually they forbid to use the
samples in isolation. See this example (real, from an EULA):

"Use of the sound samples in isolation such as, but not limited to, video
game soundtracks, gaming machines, toys (where they appear in isolation
or as sound effects) is not permitted without first obtaining a separate
written License (which may not be available) from Licensor."

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