If I compose a piece of music using instruments and sound effects that I don't own the copyright to (but am licensed to use), can I release my composition under a free/open license that allows derivatives, without violating one of the two:
- The free license that allows derivations, or
- My license to the instruments / sound effects?
To elaborate: most closed music composition software provides collections of sound files for different instruments, called sound banks, which they retain the copyright to. Under their user licenses, they often state that you are not allowed to redistribute those sound files, but it is implied that you own the copyright to any music that you compose with those sound files. An example from Propellerhead:
The sound samples and musical examples connected to the Software may NOT be reformatted, mixed, filtered, re-synthesized, or otherwise edited or altered for use in any kind of commercial sampling product/package or software- this is strictly prohibited without the express written consent of Propellerhead Software.
An example from Soundation:
The sounds can be used royalty free by the purchaser of the downloads in any context except:
To make another sample/sound effect CD or database, even if the material has been manipulated.
To upload the individual sounds to a sound database to be used by others
Any sound file CD/database or multimedia sound library.
Any multimedia or game product DVD/CD or web game that includes isloated sounds from PowerFX.
But here's the problem: free/open licenses allow derivation, so if I release under such a license, technically end users can take a portion of my music and redistribute it. For example, they can sample it and release their own track with those samples.
- Does this mean that they can sample isolated sounds, like drum beats, and release a drum beat pack? If yes doesn't this violate the sound license? If no doesn't this contradict the free license?
- Is this affected by how well I mix the sound effects and make it harder to extract the original sound effects? What if I make a piece of "music" that is solely comprised of isolated sounds?
- Do these licenses fundamentally conflict, i.e. am I forced to look for a license with a no-derivatives clause, or a free sound bank?
- Or, can I include a clause prohibiting extracting individual sounds from my music?