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buddhabeats says

As a sound effects recorder, I have a question about what EXACTLY constitutes an exclusive “sound” as it were.

For music, it seems pretty cut and dry: you create a song, make it exclusive, done deal. You can’t ‘recreate’ the song in the exact same way and claim it’s a ‘new song’.

But for sound effects it’s not quite so clear (in my mind).

Let’s say I record 20 takes of one particular sound. They all sound nearly identical, but have extremely small differences. Perhaps the average person couldn’t really tell the difference, but looking at the file in an audio editor shows they are obviously different.

So of those 20 takes, I upload the first take to AJ – Exclusive Author. but what of the other 19? They are technically not the same as the first, right? Could I sell those elsewhere?

As an actual example, let’s say I record a table lamp switching on/off. I use a very specific mic, preamp, and lamp….even a specific room. Can I sell one of the samples here, and another sample elsewhere?

Let’s take this further…

Let’s say I record the same sound with two different mics placed very near each other. Can I sell the recordings of one mic here and the other mic elsewhere? (these will definitely be two different recordings; especially if using two mics with very different sonic signatures)

Or even deeper…

I record the lamp today using one setup, but change the setup tomorrow (new mic, preamp, converter, etc).....then?

Or heck, let’s say I change the lamp entirely…..this time I use a floor lamp. But for this example, both lamps sound nearly identical. What then?

As you can see, it can be a bit confusing. From how I understand things, you cannot sell “the SAME file” elsewhere. Like, the exact same file. (if you were to put two together, flipped the phase on one, they would null) But two recordings done 10 seconds apart of the same sound would be two different recordings. (similar sounding, but different) So one could be sold elsewhere.

To be clear, I’m not trying to find a loophole in the system. I just don’t want to get into trouble here by a misunderstanding. This certainly seems to be a gray area, no?

Thanks

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matsteiner Reviewer says

In my opinion it could be critical o sell the similar “lamp switch on” sound on another plattform, especially if you find the difference with a wave editor only :) But as long it sounds so much different that everyone HEARS it, that shouldn’t be a problem to sell it elsewhere, or not?

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buddhabeats says

Thanks for your thoughts.

I was thinking it could be determined that way “if it sounds different”. But that could turn into a huge mess as it would be a subjective decision. (“Hey, it sounds different to ME.” “Yeah, but you’re an audio geek with golden ears….so everything sounds different to YOU.”) haha…

Anyhow, I’ve also been thinking about “same sound but different lengths”.

The other day I recorded an electric drill at several different lengths. (Short burst, 1 second, 2 seconds, 5 seconds. 20 seconds, etc…) Say I sell the 2 seconds recording here, and the 5 seconds recording elsewhere. They sound nearly identical, just one is longer.

Gray area, huh?

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adammonroe says

As long as you aren’t selling the exact same file/sound across different markets, I don’t think it’s legally a problem. You can’t really copyright what something sounds like…you can only copyright the recording of what something sounds like…I believe there is an implicit difference there. However, if you are going to be selling similar enough sounds across different markets, it might be ethical just to opt for non-exclusivity regardless. In my estimation, you wouldn’t technically, legally be in breach of the terms of exclusivity, but you would be walking a fine line when it came down to violating the “spirit” of exclusivity. Indeed, a gray area.

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buddhabeats says

Good points Adam. Thank you.

I started thinking about this mainly because of the other thread about sample rates. If I’m limited to 16bit 44.1kHz here then I’ll probably want to find another marketplace to sell my higher quality samples. Of course, not the exacts SAME samples but samples from a different take.

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Art-of-Sound says

you cannot sell “the SAME file” elsewhere. Like, the exact same file. (if you were to put two together, flipped the phase on one, they would null) But two recordings done 10 seconds apart of the same sound would be two different recordings. (similar sounding, but different) So one could be sold elsewhere.
Well, you answered it yourself. Exclusivity demands from you not to sell the same file elsewhere. Take 1 and take 2 are not the same thing.
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buddhabeats says

Thanks for the reassurance. I fear getting slammed sometime down the road for my apparent rule-breaking.

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FxProSound says

Buddha IMHO there’s no market for sfx in 88kHz or 96 kHz. I think that 44.1 and 48 kHz are rather equivalent (first are rather for audio works and second for video) and site should automatically perform conversion. With 24bit sounds there could be a problem, because some people cannot play it on their computers and they think it’s broken. Maybe you should find a place for cinematic usable sfx, but probably they want 5.1 stuff not stereo :)

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buddhabeats says

I do agree that for the average user, higher sample rates aren’t needed. Regarding 24 bit sounds and being a problem on their computers, that’s something they’ll need to work out for themselves. Yes, it would be a hassle for this site’s staff (responding to ‘broken file’ emails), so they would need to explain it in the download section. Offer the different options, and have a pop up next to each explaining the file types. I’ve seen this done before. This is where they would explain that 24 bit may not work on their computers. (and recommend mp3 or 16bit/44.1k)

IMO, offering higher sample rates (with a short concise explanation on usage) can’t hurt the site. Sales won’t be lost. But NOT offering higher sample rates can hurt sales.

If we’re offering competitive prices, then why aim solely for the home user market?

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FxProSound says

You’re right about offering additionally best sample rates files. But probably it’s not the thing, that makes much difference to buyer. There are even serious libraries which take only 320 mbps mp3 and don’t bother with wavs:) Maybe people are more deaf now or postprocessing in media devaluates sound so hard? BTW do you know any person which can hear difference between 320 mbps mp3 and wav?

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