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    hi..

    I think the subject that uploads the material is not the site but the site user

    But if the copyright is marked as cc0 but the uploader is illegal

    I wonder what happens to the person used it ???

  • avatar
    718 sounds
    175 posts


    If someone uploads a sound that is copyrighted, the moderators will usually pick up on it during the moderation process. Though, occasionally some sounds do slip through, notably if the uploader lies and claims they created the sounds themselves when they were actually ripped from a commercial library.

    In this case, the fault is most certainly on the uploader, but that fault might not be recognized until some time later when someone finds a match from elsewhere.

    In that time, many users will no doubt have downloaded the sound - so what happens to those that downloaded it?

    Well, if it was a very recognizable sound or piece of music, there is a higher chance that the original creators might notice it if you use it (of course, this depends entirely on whether your project receives much attention).

    But more likely, those that downloaded the sound are unlikely to be at any risk of legal action, as in the vast majority of cases, it won't be worth the time and money for the creator to take you to court (unless your project is earning big $$$), nor will they likely ever find out that you used it.

    With that said - to anyone that does find a sound on this site that they think is copyrighted, do report it!

  • avatar
    2 sounds
    47 posts


    I'm not sure how much longer we can say that "you probably won't get caught".

    Technology is getting better and better at recognizing sounds. Think of Shazam like technology which can identify a song. Now consider it being used by copyright holders to identify infringement. This is already part of what YouTube is using to take down copyright violations before they're even posted.

    And such technology can easily be used for evil. I met a hairdresser who had found a picture of a tomato in some clipart library on the web and put it on her web page. Little did she know that it had been put up by some guy who was using TinEye Reverse Image Search to find who used his images so he could sue them for way more than the images were worth. He sent threatening letters and sued her in small claims court, which is surprisingly easy to do. The woman ended up paying up for the lousy tomato picture. I imagine that, if she hadn't paid, he probably would have won a default judgment against her because there was no way she was going all the way across the country to defend herself in court. A default judgment would have meant that he "owned" her debt and could sell that debt to collectors who do all the nasty work of harassing people for money.

    I don't know of any website like TinEye that is for sounds instead of pictures, but I see no technological reason for it not to exist. And when one shows up, you can expect lots of little weasels like this guy popping up saying, "I posted that on Free Sound with a NON-COMMERCIAL license, and you used it on your website which happens to mention that you cut hair for money out of your house. You now owe me money."

    (This is yet another reason I'd prefer people think twice before using the NON-COMMERCIAL license.)

  • avatar
    2064 sounds
    2239 posts


    Thank you hackerb9 for your points.

    I would like to begin by saying that the Creative Commons (CC) and the Freesound mentality are quite positive.
    These licenses exist not for the purpose of "Can I sue someone if they misuse my sounds?" but rather for "Where can I find sounds that I can use without the fear of being sued?" and "How can I upload my sounds and make them available for others, who then know clearly what they can and can't do with them?"

    The Creative Commons spirit is not about suing people, but about sharing. - Sharing your own creativity and driving creativity in others.
    A very positive experience!

    As with many other things, we need to be aware and more and more careful about what we post online. So uploading your last argument with your girlfriend which you secretly recorded on your mobile phone may not be a good idea smile

    Realistically, no one is going to sue anyone for using a sound on a school play or school project. But if you are making serious music that you intend to sell or that will feature in TV programs, big computer game, etc, you need to be more careful.
    For this kind of situation, it is a good idea to try to contact the uploader of the sound. Certainly you should do that if the license is non-commercial. If they don't respond, you have at least the defence that you tried to contact them.

    I want to believe.
  • avatar
    2 sounds
    47 posts


    Sometimes I forget to say the most important part. I should have started out by emphasizing that the ethos and spirit behind Freesound and Creative Commons is incredibly positive. People come to Freesound with a desire to share what they have with others. The only "reward" a person can hope for is, at best, praise for their work.

    When I spoke of hypothetical people suing, I meant some jerk outside this community who would abuse it. Any website, not just Freesound, that offers sounds under a proprietary license -- which includes Creative Commons Non-Commercial -- is vulnerable to such jerks.

    In fact, Freesound is much safer than most: every sound is clearly labeled with the copyright notice and information about your rights. The hairdresser I mentioned earlier told me she had seen NO notice of copyright on the website so she assumed they were "free". Unfortunately, as she learned, that's not how copyright works.

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