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TOPIC: Is there a guide to copyrights w.r.t. Soundfonts?

Is there a guide to copyrights w.r.t. Soundfonts? 1 year 3 months ago #1

  • Alex Farlie
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(This is posted to what seemed to be the off topic area, as it's more a question related to "production" generally than Polyphone specifically).

Soundfonts aren't so much instruments as 'sample' collections, where an obvious creative effort has gone into collating (or making) the samples, and programming all the various effects. So is there a guide on how to be copyright aware when using/building Soundfonts (without being copyright paranoid)?
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Is there a guide to copyrights w.r.t. Soundfonts? 1 year 3 months ago #2

  • Strix SoundFont Team
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When downloading soundfonts from the Polyphone website, refer to this license guide:


This license guide explains CC (Creative Commons) licenses. Take CC0 to be 'Public Domain'.

If you are not sure, go to this link.
Strix SoundFont Team

The creator of DSoundFont and FM Electric Piano.

Download these and much more at:

sites.google.com/site/strixsoundfont
Last Edit: 1 year 3 months ago by Strix SoundFont Team.
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Is there a guide to copyrights w.r.t. Soundfonts? 1 year 3 months ago #3

  • Alex Farlie
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Thanks for the link.

More generally, I was also trying to find guidance on when to consider a sound as creatively original, when finding samples to use or tweak myself. (I couldn't for example use a certain tweaked prog-rock guitar sound in my own Soundfonts, because it was used on a commercially available album in the mid 70's. )
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Is there a guide to copyrights w.r.t. Soundfonts? 1 year 3 months ago #4

  • Davy
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This is where the field "Copyright" of the soundfont is useful. Unfortunately only a few of them mention it and we are usually not able to find where the samples come from.
So we need to trust the authors of the soundfonts when they are sharing a soundfont: the license of the soundfont should be applied regarding the more restrictive license of the samples comprised in it if they are not using their own samples.
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Is there a guide to copyrights w.r.t. Soundfonts? 1 year 3 months ago #5

  • Alex Farlie
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Davy wrote:
This is where the field "Copyright" of the soundfont is useful. Unfortunately only a few of them mention it and we are usually not able to find where the samples come from.

Thanks. Coming from Wikipedia, where practically ANY media has to have full attribution, I'm rather cautious.
Davy wrote:
So we need to trust the authors of the soundfonts when they are sharing a soundfont: the license of the soundfont should be applied regarding the more restrictive license of the samples comprised in it if they are not using their own samples.
[/quote]

That is something I can fully agree with.

I'm based in the United Kingdom, and the recent shift towards significantly tighter copyright laws here and in Europe (the recent EU Parliament vote being forefront) was what prompted the original question.
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Is there a guide to copyrights w.r.t. Soundfonts? 1 year 3 months ago #6

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I'm also a bit worried about that. While soundfonts are largely broadcast over the internet, the initial soundfont authors are often unknown (the format is 20 years old!) and we have no more information on the material used to create them unless it is written in it. Maybe it's OK until someone can claim it with a proof (valid license with a date).

So let's wait how major websites adapt their rules and then polyphone website will be updated. Possibly with a section "samples" whose authors are known and from which the instruments are allowed to be built. We will see.
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