|No. 1 - Copyrights|
The absolute bestseller of questions we want to answer first only in short and then more in detail. Here the short version:
With the exception of very few instances ( i. g. Eurosphere) you can use everything for your music production! That way you only prove your good taste and after all, that's what we made our libraries for. You neither have to ask us for permission nor pay any additional licensing fees (Yes, some companies do that), because with your purchase (through a dealer or direct mailing - not when you buy CD's used!) you have already received a so-called one time right of use. Of course we would appreciate free credits - like for example on the booklet of your music production or in your movie credits.
And now to the detailed version, the very few exceptions and to the things, you're not allowed to do:
Based on the many questions we receive concerning the right of use/licensing, the issue doesn't seem to be clear to a lot of people and we want to rectify that right now: You have to differentiate between data medium and data content, and property and right of use. When you purchase a library, you are the owner of the CD as a medium but of course not the content of it. The ownership of the sound or program remains with the respective holder of the right.
Out of obvious reasons your right of use is limited to, how the law calls it, the use of it "within a musical context" or to be clearer: You can make songs with the sounds and loops (however not composed music - e.g. Demo Songs, Soundtracks, etc.), as long as they are embedded in an arrangement or vice versa. You can't use the samples "free standing" and alone (for i. e. Internet, Fash animations, PC games, other sampling libraries and sound sources).
That also applies to edited samples because as of the current law (A) the samples have not yet performed creatively (sound engineers surely see this differently but not the judges) and (B) because it would break the phonogram copyright laws. If you would for example take the samples of our "Saxophone"-CD and put them through a reverb machine and then publicize those within another sampling library, you would be in the wrong twice!
To complete this we should mention that a licensing of the just discussed issue above is possible. We have officially licensed certain sound materials in the past for the use in other libraries (i.e. for companies like Time & Space, East/West, Magix etc.) and for synthesizer/ sampler libraries (i.e. Roland and Technics).
But you should absolutely consider that the products of other manufacturers, even if these carry a licensed MASTERBITS Logo, have it´s own copyright conditions of the respective manufacturers! Like that, products for the consumer market (e.g. Data Becker Monsterpack / Soundclips) are often reduced to an exclusive private use only.
All our MASTERBITS own are newly produced and therefore "copyright clean", how insiders call it; with the exception of a few, that are then especially marked and/or combined in a bonus part at the end of the CD. What kind of samples are those and why didn't we just leave them out altogether, we have been asked. There are just some samples - some originate from my own private library - that have that certain something, but nobody knows where they originally came from and if anybody has any valid copyrights. At the end of the just finished RAVE TRAX II, for example, we have 10 great speech-samples, where a speaker in English with a Russian accent comments on the take off of a rocket. It would be sinful to leave out those kinds of samples. You won't go to jail when you use them but since neither us nor probably somebody else has the copyrights on those samples, we can't transfer the rights to them to you.
We will continue a little bit more with this dry matter - but soon you will have made it! Continuing into space - concerning the matter NASA we have received an endless amount of questions: Who do these transmission recordings belong to and can one use them? We have researched the issue to find a clear answer for you and - Yes - under specific circumstances: NASA told us that those recordings are property of the American people and can be used. NASA (http://www.nasa.gov) though has reserved the right to be consulted for the way and form they are being used in, to avoid misuse. To use them in any commercial setting you have to get permission, just like we had to for the recordings of our TEKKNO- & RAVE TRAX 1. It doesn't cost anything but it takes time - we waited about 6 weeks.
Another exception, that we can't do anything about, are the samples with longer texts. We will not get into this formal and legally complex area too much and will just give you a rough summary: As of German law (?American law) you cannot sell the rights to a song with lyrics but only give people the right of use to it. What that boils down to is that you have to name the respective rapper of our Vocals II - RAPSODY as a text writer on your cover. That doesn't cost you any money, but makes sure, that a fraction of future profits are given to the "true creator".
So that's all for now! We have decided for this straight-line approach, so you are on the safe side also. The subject "SAFE SAMPLING" is not yet popular with every sound ware company. We know about "stolen original" Michael Jackson grooves that are offered on CD-ROM libraries for a lot of money. Therefore we recommend to you to ask for a clear statement concerning the right of use before you buy! - You protect yourself against nasty surprises and help the whole sound ware industry to get rid of the "black sheeps".
A translation of the other issues from the German F.A.Q. part will follow soon.