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    GDC's 30+ GB sound effect library


    I wonder if these sounds have effectively been released as Public Domain?

    https://sonniss.com/gameaudiogdc18/

    They said no attribution is required, commercial use is allowed, no royalties and no limitations.

    It's a sample of much larger sound effects collections so I guess they hope people who use this will buy more if they like it - but I wonder what is the licensing on these sounds precisely.

    Have anyone dug into this?

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    That seems to be exactly what it is: a free, royalty-free selection from their paid libraries. Given away as a free sample to attract people to buy their products.
    Very nice of them!

    Definitely the sounds can be used creatively without limits.

    They may have put something in the small print against re-distribution (i.e., including the sounds as they are in any sample packs, paid for or not).

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    I thought it was great of them

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    The answer is no, these sounds are not in the public domain, they still have a license agreement.

    These "free" samples come with a standard single-user royalty free license.

    They are restriction free, but you can't republish the sounds as they are, unchanged, for example here on freesound. That would breach the license terms. Which is a standard for all professional sample libraries regardless of wether they are released free of charge.

    I was exchanging emails with the main guy from Sonniss a few years back when they released the first GDC library. He did send me a license document because I asked for it. I can't seem to find an EULA as an example to show you, buried somewhere deep in my email.


    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

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    I compose electroacoustic music and use sometimes real world samples (thanks, by the way, to freesound which is a real mine). I publish my works on the Internet (youtube, etc.) so I have to be 100% sure that I respect copyright.
    After discovering the GDC offers of sonniss, I asked myself some questions, because, originally, these samples are not intended for musicians but for the developers of games. On their homepage, they talk about "projects", which is not precise.
    I then wrote to sonniss without any answer. In fact, the licence provided with these offers stipulates, in the chapter RIGHTS GRANTED under c/ :
    Licensee may use the licensed sound effects for the purposes of synchronization with audio and visual projects the Licensee is involved with, wich includes but is no limited to : games, films, television & interactive projects.
    Although it is not explicitly expressed, nor excluded, it seems to me that the possibility to synchronize with audio gives me the right to use these samples in my musical compositions.
    (I had the same kind of problem with the free samples from Adobe Audition but the answers I got seem to indicate that you are allowed to use these samples only if you are a registered user of Adobe Audition).
    So do you think I can use the samples in my music without any fear of lawsuits?

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    The key is in the phrase "but is not limited to". which means it's not an exhaustive list. It's fine to use them in music compositions.

    The reason why they talk about "projects" is because it's an all encompassing term for brevity.


    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

    Freesound Housekeeper
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    Thank you, Headphaze, for your prompt response. Are you really sure I am safe? I think that licences are the most important documents, but it is not explicitly about musical composition. What bothers me the most with sonniss is that they didn't answer my questions. Without their written permission I don't feel 100% sure. I suppose my questions must embarrass them because the products they sell don't all have the same type of licence. For example, some sellers don't allow their sounds to be heard unaccompanied, others don't mind. (As a composer, if I buy a sound it is because I find it beautiful (for example, broken glass) and for this reason I sometimes want to use it whithout accompaniment!).
    Excuse me for being paranoid but when you read the copyright laws, they are so strict (in Europe) that you really feel that you cannot compose without a lawyer, if you don't use your own sounds! What makes things worse is that if you pay attention to copyright and ask short and clear questions about licences (not everyone speaks English either) you don't always get answers. This just happened to me with a well-known sounddesigner and a big company.

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    Let me preface by saying I'm not a lawyer, and I don't speak on behalf of Freesound. So if you really want 100% definitive answers then speak to a copyright lawyer.

    As far as i'm aware, all the single-user licenses granted by Soniss and other providers of such sound libraries (which includes free samples) have the condition that you are not allowed to publish or sell the sounds unaltered or at least NOT part of a composition. That would be a breach of the EULA license terms. A special license could grant such permissions, but that would have to be contracted between you and the seller or copyright holder.

    I honestly think you are worrying too much about this. smile


    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

    Freesound Housekeeper

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