Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By VirtualAce

Can I use other's music in a free game release?

This is a discussion on Can I use other's music in a free game release? within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I am wondering I released a game for free, or perhaps open source, if there would be any problems with ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1

    Can I use other's music in a free game release?

    I am wondering I released a game for free, or perhaps open source, if there would be any problems with using music that I did not create, for example the artist Deadmau5. I've been researching a bit but can't find anything solid on this.

    I'd also decline donations if needed to prevent problems with copyright etc.

  2. #2
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    5,789
    Quote Originally Posted by unixunited View Post
    I am wondering I released a game for free, or perhaps open source, if there would be any problems with using music that I did not create, for example the artist Deadmau5. I've been researching a bit but can't find anything solid on this.

    I'd also decline donations if needed to prevent problems with copyright etc.
    I'd doubt that you distributing it for free would get around copyrights.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    9,596
    Nothing will get you around the copyright except the permission of the person who copyrighted the material. Most people probably would not mind and its free publicity for their work so I would ask them. If you do not have that option then I'm afraid you cannot use their work.
    dennis.cpp likes this.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by VirtualAce View Post
    Nothing will get you around the copyright except the permission of the person who copyrighted the material. Most people probably would not mind and its free publicity for their work so I would ask them. If you do not have that option then I'm afraid you cannot use their work.

    This is very true, but there is another thing to keep in mind. Very often, the artist no longer has the ability to grant you use of their music, as once a recording deal is involved, it's generally no longer theirs.​ You actually need to speak to the publisher for permission, which makes things very very difficult.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    9,596
    Ah yes the publisher. I was thinking more along the lines of music that was being self-published rather than retail music that had already been published by a 3rd party publisher. If it is music that has been published by a 3rd party publisher you would do well to pay someone to write music for you and use that. You probably will never get permission from the publisher without a significant amount of money being involved and even then your usage will be restricted.

  6. #6
    msh
    msh is offline
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    568
    Several of the Creative Commons licenses are very permissive. If media, be it visual, audio or textual, is released under any of those, you might get away with as little as giving credit to the artist -- basically a spot in the credits.

    If there's a published involved -- forget it -- unless it's a publisher that is know to support free use of their media for non-profit purposes.
    Disclaimer: This post shows my ignorance at the time of its making. I claim ownership of but not responsibility for all errors in it. Reference at your own peril.

  7. #7
    language hopper dennis.cpp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Herborn, Hesse, Germany
    Posts
    197
    Quote Originally Posted by VirtualAce View Post
    Nothing will get you around the copyright except the permission of the person who copyrighted the material. Most people probably would not mind and its free publicity for their work so I would ask them. If you do not have that option then I'm afraid you cannot use their work.
    Full ack. How could anyone possibly know better than that artist the OP's talking about?
    Hardware: Intel® Core™ i7-3630QM CPU @ 2.40GHz × 8
    Operating system: Fedora 19 (64-Bit) / Linux 3.11.6-200.fc19 / KDE SC 4.11.2
    Compiler: gcc 4.8.2 with Netbeans IDE 7.4

  8. #8
    Registered User ledow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    435
    I distributed a game with some music, myself. I just asked the creator first and kept the email where he said I could. Fortunately, he didn't ask for anything in return but others sometimes do.

    Rule #1 of game-making: The stuff you *MAKE* yourself is yours. The other stuff you need to have permission for (by a license offered to you by the author).

    So your code that you hand-typed into a file without any copy/paste is your own and you can do what you like. But music made by someone else (or using words written by someone, or lyrics/melodies made by someone else), graphics made by someone else (including the tiniest little sprite or clipart), sound effects made by someone else (even if it's just a beep or boop), and anything else you use are instantly copyright those people and NOT you. So you need their permission (either by a license they choose, or an agreement with them personally) in order to distribute it.

    It doesn't matter if you charge for it or not, for charity or not. So many people miss this, that it's unbelievable.

    For myself, every "asset" I commit to my SVN is accompanied by a line in a text file saying where it come from and what I did to it. When I hire an artist, I put their name on it and make clear in my emails that I'm paying them for the copyright and also save all those email. Even if I use only MIT- or BSD-licensed code, I copy-paste the whole original license into a file so I trace it back later. Hell, I even comment on things like "This was copy pasted from pastebin URL ...... and edited to suit my needs" for one-liners when necessary.

    If you didn't MAKE it personally (and that doesn't mean copy/paste, re-record, or change a couple of pixels on it - but actually created the thing from scratch), then you need permission. Sometimes that permission is implicit (e.g. some clipart is distributed under licenses that say you can use it however you want but MOST isn't, some code already has a copy of the GPL in it, etc.) and sometimes that permission has to be explicit (i.e. you have to ask the author because they haven't said anything about whether you can use it).

    There's also no excuse - I found indie music providers everywhere I went with songs of every type, I find usable artwork all over the place and ask permission where necessary, there are whole sites dedicated to creative-commons-licensed sound effects etc. Ask, or don't use, but if in doubt always ask. The worst that happens is they say no. The worst that happens if you use it without permission is a lot nastier.

    - Compiler warnings are like "Bridge Out Ahead" warnings. DON'T just ignore them.
    - A compiler error is something SO stupid that the compiler genuinely can't carry on with its job. A compiler warning is the compiler saying "Well, that's bloody stupid but if you WANT to ignore me..." and carrying on.
    - The best debugging tool in the world is a bunch of printf()'s for everything important around the bits you think might be wrong.

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Adding music to a game
    By Lesshardtofind in forum Game Programming
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-14-2009, 12:26 AM
  2. Update on Celesteroids Game (Release 1.0)
    By Davros in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-16-2006, 04:50 AM
  3. Game Release
    By abrege in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-24-2002, 01:11 AM
  4. Free Game Downloads?
    By drdroid in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-17-2002, 03:54 PM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21