Copyright issues

Are there copyright issues when producing a tune in Scaler? IE: if a tune is created using the melody option, and someone else uses the same melody and both produce the recorded tune for commercial release?

Just as with AI (which is more appropriately referred to as Plagarism Software), if you create a composition in which (generally) more than 15% of the track is exacting to an existing commercial release, there may be grounds for Copyright infringment.

I’ve been involved in a number of copyright battles over the years, and it is a very complex area, and getting more so with AI. It’s made even more complicated because {1} the law - here in the UK at least - has not kept up with technology and {2} law varies in different jurisdictions e.g. between the USA and the UK.

I’ve just had a look to see if I can see a Scaler licence agreement in the downloaded documents, which I cannot. In fact PIB are listed as the seller and assert copyright and the relationship to Melbourne people is rather opaque.

Scaler provide artist tracks, performances and progressions presumably in the expectation that they will get used to create tracks. It seems to be that they would not expect a user to ensure that they discard 85% of the source within any of their materials in doing so, and assume that an artist has provided a free unrestricted licence to use for that purpose. Such a licence does not of course affect the originators copyright.

The same issues arise in sample libraries or even with synth pre-sets. DUNE , for example has a lot of 8 bar pre-sets, but I’m not expecting a letter from a solicitor if I use one unchanged in a track.

The Spectrasonics licensing might give a clue; you get a free licence to use their patches (and phrases) in your compositions, but what you cannot do is sell or deal in any other other way in the raw patches. If you tried to deal in the freely visible samples in Scaler, then PIB would probably object.

Although we’ve seem some lunacy in the Sheeran case of attempting to claim a sequence of 4 chords is in any way copyrightable (but the US have a track record in daft copyright litigation) I suspect that if you use an artist track, and even use the base, melody etc progressions from scaler, and they together form a substantive part in in a finished track, then PIB/Scaler would be ok with that - if only because to write an enforceable contract to define otherwise would be nigh on impossible.

You can do what you want in your bedroom, so the issue here is commercial use.
So my take to @tiamarcois is to go ahead and do what you want. the worst that can happen is that you get ‘cease and desist’ letter, but I doubt it.

Go ahead and make whatever you want from Scaler. We actively want to and love to hear Scaler’s content appear on commercial releases and compositions. There are standard T&C’s when using the software such as not being able to on-sell the midi etc but as far as making your own music and doing what you want with it - great! In terms of someone else using it and taking you to court, just bring your laptop with you and show them you got it from Scaler! But don’t worry, as @panda says no one will go after you unless you are Ed Sheeran or have a few million in cash lying around.

It’s in the installer. Very standard agreement.

Exactly.

Let me qualify this by saying I am not a lawyer and all me comments below are personal opinions for discussion.

This is true, but it appears to be focussed on the application software with an extension to “additional materials” in clause 3. IMHO this is where the grey area may set in as there is no explicit permission to use the performances, or included chord sets. I would suggest amending the licence to specifically allow the copyright of any derivative work to be the property of the composer.

The aim is to ensure that users have an unfettered right to use the sounds, chordsets and performances in compositions, whist protecting the original owners as required.

Having said this IMHO it is probably impossible to copyright a chord sequence even allowing for rhythmic variations. It is probable that someone else (most probably J S Bach) has already used any given sequence. Similarly many of the performances (particularly bass lines and arpeggios) will already have been used multiple times and hence cannot be copyrighted (cf Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud case).

Weird, I still can’t see it. I guess I’m being a bit thick here, but a search shows there is the PIB folder with the license key in
a
and the data folder
b
The ‘Documents’ folder just has the manual in.

I agree with your sentiment here (although I think the risk to Scaler users is minimal), but contracts, and particularly copyright/ IP contracts, are incredibly difficult. For example, AFAIK an author gains no rights in embedded IP per se even though the derivative work in toto is capable of protection by the author. This is why Scaler included the statement of third party titles in the manual because inclusion in the Scaler app gives them no rights to those embedded works in their software. So the ownership of a derivative work by the Scaler user is qualified, not absolute.

There is also one item which shows how difficult it is to draft these things. In “or place them in a time -sharing or service bureau operation” {BTW, I love the 1970’s terminology here … exactly what I tend to say, but of course nobody knows what time-sharing is these days :slight_smile: }. On the face of it, as drafted, you would be in breach by backing your files up to the cloud. It’s the intent behind the remote transfer and not the tranfer per se that is the issue, IMHO.

Anyway, my take this is all to some extent academic; enforcing copyright in the courts is simply astronomically expensive, and (again IMHO) the main role of the copyright clauses at this level of commerce is to give strength to the threat of a breach action. Only someone both very rich and very stupid would ignore a ‘cease and desist’ letter from the IP owner, having agreed terms, so as long as the agreement is solid in its intent, spending too much cash on the minutia of the syntax is not worthwhile.

:face_with_head_bandage: :astonished: What am I doing ??? Why am I writing stuff about IP on a Sunday ?? I’m retired ! You got me going there @ed66 :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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Thank you all for your replies!

I don’t think so because there is no limit on loading the application and sounds onto multiple machines, just so long as you are not selling it or distributing it. It may be better to include an explicit clause to allow backups and to restrict the number of users. I would consider restricting the number of concurrent users (hence the reference to time-sharing, but in defence I did put this together very quickly).

Anyway,I think this is something for the Scaler team to discuss with their lawyers.

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