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    CC-BY-3.0 and Steam


    I just became serious about game development so I wanted to really research copyright and legal stuff so that I could avoid any legal trouble in the future. And I just wanted to ask about something.

    Can sounds on this website that require attribution (specifically those licensed with the CC-BY-3.0 license) be used in a game that's sold on Steam? CC-BY-3.0 has a clause that prevents works being distributed with DRM?

    If not, that really sucks because I'm planning to release my game on Steam once it's done and I found some really good sfx on here. :/

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    Complicated case. My suggestion: Change the sounds to CC0 ones or you need a personal permission from the uploader.

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    246 sounds
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    Just put the appropriate information about the sound sources in the credits section of your game, as described in the "3.0" column here,

    https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/License_Versions#Detailed_attribution_comparison_chart

    and you'll be fine.

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    @Breviceps Yeah, thanks, I'll stick to CC0 and non CC Royalty Free licenses elsewhere. If the sound is really unique or I like it a lot I'll get in contact with the creator.

    @copyc4t Crediting is no problem and I already have a credits screen.

    I'm sure most, if not all the people who made the CC-BY-3.0 sounds I want to use don't have any problem with me using the sounds for a Steam game - however, that clause IS in the license and I don't want to open myself up for any chance of a lawsuit, even if it's small.

    I mean - even if the person doesn't personally care about DRM, if you happen to make a game or movie or something that becomes successful, who's to say that person wouldn't try to sue you just to get money out of you?

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    246 sounds
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    This is the full legal code of the Attribution 3.0 Unported license:

    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode

    I can't seem to find refecences to DRM, probably because I'm not a lawyer grin
    DRM is an issue with, for instance, the GPL license, but CC-BY is different.
    Commercial usage (e.g. Steam) would be barred by the Non-Commercial CC clause, and DRM would clash with the Share-Alike CC clause (both of which can always be waived for you by the authors if they agree); but this is not the case with the CC-BY, and who chooses it can't apply any further restrictions of their own choice.

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    The part I'm talking about is under 4.a)

    You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms of this License. You must include a copy of, or the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) for, this License with every copy of the Work You Distribute or Publicly Perform. You may not offer or impose any terms on the Work that restrict the terms of this License or the ability of the recipient of the Work to exercise the rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the License. You may not sublicense the Work. You must keep intact all notices that refer to this License and to the disclaimer of warranties with every copy of the Work You Distribute or Publicly Perform. When You Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work, You may not impose any effective technological measures on the Work that restrict the ability of a recipient of the Work from You to exercise the rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the License. This Section 4(a) applies to the Work as incorporated in a Collection, but this does not require the Collection apart from the Work itself to be made subject to the terms of this License. If You create a Collection, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Collection any credit as required by Section 4(b), as requested. If You create an Adaptation, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Adaptation any credit as required by Section 4(b), as requested.

    It's also seen in the summary at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/:

    No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

    In the more info link you can click on while hovering over that clause in the summary you get:

    All CC license versions prohibit licensees (as opposed to licensors) from using effective technological measures such as “digital rights management” software to restrict the ability of those who receive a CC-licensed work to exercise rights granted under the license. To be clear, encryption or an access limitation is not necessarily a technical protection measure prohibited by the licenses. For example, content sent via email and encrypted with the recipient's public key does not restrict use of the work by the recipient. Likewise, limiting recipients to a set of users (e.g., with a username and password) does not restrict use of the work by the recipients. In the cases above, encryption or an access limitation does not violate the prohibition on technological measures because the recipient is not prevented from exercising all rights granted by the license (including rights of further redistribution).

    I wish Steam didn't fall under this restriction but I'm pretty sure it does.

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    246 sounds
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    I see your concern; if you embed the sound in your game and the platform wraps the game with its DRM, players can't extract the sound from the game and use it themselves.

    But the sound is still available where you originally got it, e.g. here on Freesound; providing a publicly accessible link to the sound is equivalent to shipping the sound as a standalone, unencrypted resource, which grants all players the same accessibility and usage rights you had.

    As long as you mention the link to the license, e.g.
    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    and the link to the sound, e.g.
    https://freesound.org/people/karikalan/sounds/459919/

    and, in case of BY, the link to the author, e.g.
    https://freesound.org/people/karikalan/

    you're good to go.

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