2 posts

  • avatar
    105 sounds
    30 posts
    question about vocal rights?

    i don't deal with legal problems like this often (all my sounds are public domain) but I have a question I was hoping someone could answer. Is it legal to use someone's vocal performance from a song, either edited into a different type of vocal chops or standalone, in your own work as long as you credit them, or is this something you would need direct permission for? Just to be clear this isn't the instrumental performance, it's a cappella singing, basically if that can be used without consequence or not.

  • avatar
    735 sounds
    183 posts

    Are those vocal performances from this site, or from other commercial songs?


    If it is from other commercial songs you would legally need to get written permission from the original singer to use their copyrighted material in a new work.

    For example, there is the category of musics such as hip-hop which were built (and still are) almost entirely out of using samples (e.g. material from other people's work) without permission. Of course, some of those artists got sued for copyright infringement. As a result, many hip-hop artists now obtain permission to use the sampled material in their new works.

    There is also the discussion of "well, as long as I transform the vocal so much that it is unrecognizable, I'll never get caught!", which is certainly true - but that risk will stay with you. If you new work hits the top of every worldwide chart, someone may take notice and boom, a lawyer is on their way.

    So I would play it safe - get written permission, always!


    If it is from using vocal recordings from this site, then they don't need to get permission (as none of the licenses require it).

    If it's under "Creative Commons 0" license, then they can do anything with the sound without asking for permission. If it's under an "Attribution" license, then they can still do anything with the sound without asking permission (so long as they give appropriate attribution/credit). And if it's under an "Attribution Noncommercial" license, they can do anything with the sound except making money off of it, all still without having to ask permission (and with appropriate credit!)

    2 posts