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GPL and audio sample banks - Printable Version

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GPL and audio sample banks - goldhat - 01-13-2011

I have a question about GPL, I saw some good info on a thread here but need some specific answers...apologies if I'm in the wrong place but I hope someone can give me the word on the following:

I'm currently involved in making a soundtrack for a documentary on a foreign country and have found some audio sample banks online of a full range of single note recordings of indigenous instruments. I'd like to work these elements in to the music/soundtrack.

The author of thestates that the sounds are made available under the GPL.

Given that this project is hoped to be profitable, I'm struggling to understand what my obligations will be regarding disclosure and what my entitlements will be regarding royalties.

ie Can I use them for making music I want to sell?Confused

Cheers!Big Grin

RE: GPL and audio sample banks - Halogene - 01-14-2011


you posted on the wrong section of this forum, since this is not in any way Xonotic related. But I think some moderator will move your post soon anyway.

This is no place you will get legally binding answers to this kind of questions, so for licensing questions you should consult a lawyer (whom you might then also hold responsible for any misinformation). BUT the GPL generally does not forbid selling content. You could, for example, also burn this game (which is licensed under the GPL) (this is a gaming website, by the way) (have you checked it out? It's a really good game) erm... you could burn this game onto a DVD and sell it over the internet, no problem.

What the GPL demands is that you make available the source if you distribute it, and I believe you need to license derivative work under the GPL as well - which means you'd need to make available the sources for your derivative work also. And I think you'll need to give credits to the original author of the GPL'ed sources.

You can of course go for a dual licensing scheme, so that you can license under GPL that part of the work that is a derivative work from sources licensed originally under GPL, and other parts that are not derivative works from such GPL sources under any other license you like.

Please notice that the statement above is not a legally binding information but rather what I understand the GPL to be and that I assume no liability whatsoever for the correctness of the information stated above unless you hire me. Tongue

RE: GPL and audio sample banks - divVerent - 01-14-2011

One thing you always can do: contact the author of the sound bank. As GPL is no usual license for such samples, it is quite likely that the author is the only copyright owner on it, and thus can license it to you under any other license, likely at a relatively low price. Many such authors would be perfectly fine with such use under a relatively low financial compensation, and having their name in the credits.

The GPL is likely no license you want in your documentary, as you probably will want to sell an exclusive license for it to the final publisher, and the GPL does not really allow that.

Apart from that, the question which parts have to be covered too is an open legal question. E.g. in case of a documentary, does the samples being under the GPL force the whole audio track to be under the GPL, including your speech samples you probably will overlay? Or even the whole documentary? Or just the music without the speech? Or nothing? There are varying opinions about this, and this alone is good enough reason why I don't recommend you using samples that are licensed under the GPL for such a documentary.

On another note: some people here may have a use for that sound bank, as our game is actually under the GPL and thus for us, usage of these samples would be fine. Can you post a link?

RE: GPL and audio sample banks - Halogene - 01-14-2011

(01-14-2011, 04:35 AM)divVerent Wrote: On another note: some people here may have a use for that sound bank, as our game is actually under the GPL and thus for us, usage of these samples would be fine. Can you post a link?

Oh right, a link would be cool. DivVerent, you think of everything!