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    Permission to use sound in computer games


    In these forums there have been several discussions (such as here, here, and here) on the ambiguity of the Creative Commons Sampling+ license when it comes to computer games and similar projects.

    The license includes these terms about use of content:


    i. the Derivative Work(s) constitute a good-faith partial or recombined usage employing "sampling," "collage," "mash-up," or other comparable artistic technique, whether now known or hereafter devised, that is highly transformative of the original, as appropriate to the medium, genre, and market niche; and

    ii. Your Derivative Work(s) must only make a partial use of the original Work, or if You choose to use the original Work as a whole, You must either use the Work as an insubstantial portion of Your Derivative Work(s) or transform it into something substantially different from the original Work. In the case of a musical Work and/or audio recording, the mere synchronization ("synching"wink of the Work with a moving image shall not be considered a transformation of the Work into something substantially different.


    (The underlining was added by me.)

    Because of this the Freesound project is planning to offer other licensing options in future.

    I am a programmer and found out about Freesound recently. (Incredible community, lots of fabulous sounds!) In searching the forums and finding the above information and discussions, I came to the conclusion that the current license is too ambiguous to take for granted that usage is covered in the case in the case of games and other computer software where the sound effect is synched with an action, and I see that others feel the same way, even causing Freesound to plan changes. (We might think that use in a game is reasonable or in the spirit of things, and some games also play background music tracks at the same time as any sound effects, but in the end any ambiguous area is a legal question and only courts can really decide.)

    So, at the current time (until a future version of Freesound) it seems the safest way to be sure is to ask permission from the authors of the works. That's what I'm going to do, and I was also thinking it would make sense to start a thread where authors could state their permission for using works as sound effects in computer games or other software, so that programmers and game designers could check here for compatible authors. If it's okay with the moderators, perhaps this thread can be a place for authors to post that permission (and of course the author's page would be another good place to put a notice).

    In order to give this type of permission without otherwise diminishing the protection offered by the Sampling license, perhaps an author could specify something to the effect that: "This permission applies specifically to using content as sound effects to accompany actions or provide ambient/background sound in a game or other computer software product, not to be used in any type of template or collection where the sounds themselves are resold or repackaged in new projects, or where the sounds themselves are the primary focus of the derivative work. The author considers use of content as sound effects, as described above, to be a transformative and insubstantial usage with respect to Section 3(a) of the Creative Commons Sampling+ license, and the author will not object to such usage as long as all other requirements are met. This permission does not otherwise alter any of the protections offered by the Sampling+ license."

    (That's an effort at language to protect both the author and the user of the work, I'm sure it could be improved.)

    Also, an author might want to consider whether or not to require that the sound file be embedded in another file when the game or other software is installed on a computer. (That means the sound files would be placed inside the executable file or a data file, rather than each sound being stored as a separate file in the game's folder, and some media providers prefer it that way.) This could possibly be interpreted to relate to Section 3(d) of the Sampling+ license which deals with "verbatim copies" of the content being transferred.

    (BTW, thanks to everyone for making such neat sounds! It makes me want to create some sounds to contribute too.)

    If others like this idea and it's okay with the moderators, authors can post their permissions in this thread.

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    I agree with your sentiments. Some people have tagged their sounds as being public domain. Maybe a good idea to save the page where it says they released a sound as public domain. (at least for sounds you end up using)

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    Hello, I am new but I am also sort of confused about the license as well.

    Upon reading the licensing terms, in that specific area you have quoted above, it is not very clear on the music end. The synchronization to a moving image makes perfect sense but what about using a sound effect in music alone?

    I am a DJ and I was looking for some sound effects but the license confused me as to how I could use the samples found on here.

    There is a difference between what you think, what you thought, and what you already know. Discovering that difference will empower you to become open minded.
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    I think the license was really designed for using sounds in a musical way.

    In section 3 a i
    it says:

    # You may create and reproduce Derivative Works, provided that:

    1.

    the Derivative Work(s) constitute a good-faith partial or recombined usage employing "sampling," "collage," "mash-up," or other comparable artistic technique, whether now known or hereafter devised, that is highly transformative of the original, as appropriate to the medium, genre, and market niche; and

    and

    "Your Derivative Work(s) must only make a partial use of the original Work, or if You choose to use the original Work as a whole, You must either use the Work as an insubstantial portion of Your Derivative Work(s) or transform it into something substantially different from the original Work.

    So it seems if you "sample" it in a "highly transformative" way or the use of the sound as an "insubstantial " part of your work you can use it.

    I guess you can argue about whats truly substantial or not, but I'm guessing in a legal case they would look at the intent of the licenses' use and you would be in the clear using it in the way you do.(in addition to crediting and not using the sample in a commercial unless its to promote the musical work you made.(i.e. music with the sample )

    The more you read these licenses the more crappier you realize it is. I hate how they bury the real license under the deed.

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