[cc-licenses] choosing a new license at freesound, please help

Andrea Glorioso andrea at digitalpolicy.it
Wed Oct 25 12:30:18 EDT 2006

Dear Bram,

On Wed, Oct 25, 2006 at 06:03:27PM +0200, Bram @ Freesound wrote:

> Some freesound samples are long ( > 3 minutes ) of sounds "observed" by 
> someone on the street. I don't know if there is any legal difference 
> between the 100 millisecond sound of a bass drum and 3 minutes of the 
> sound of children playing in the fairground.

As far as Italian copyright law is concerned (and I suspect other
copyright laws) duration of a work is not "per se" a significant element
in granting copyright protection or not.

> I'm guessing there might be a legal difference between a sound recorded 
> by someone and a sound generated-and-recorded by someone.

That's one of the points.  A recording, if and by itself, is not a work
protected by copyright in many jurisdictions.  In Italy recordings may
be covered by so-called neighbouring rights.

> Some people consider their samples (or recordings) entire works of art 
> as such.

I understand, but in the copyright laws that I know about, subjective 
state of mind does not have a role in determining the protectable
subject matter.  Whether I consider my work to be copyrightable or not
is not relevant - what the law says is.

> Then again, all of these might be completely irrelevant. I do not think 
> I am qualified of replying to that, hence my confusing remark.
> > (b) if you are only interested in Spanish copyright law or not (I
> >     understand the Freesound project is based at the UPF, hence in
> >     Barcelona, hence in Catalonya, hence in Spain, at least as far as
> >     copyright law is concerned)
> No, I'm interesting in worldwide law. While the *server* of freesound 
> might be in Spain, both *uploaders* (all 822 of them and rising) of 
> sounds and *downloaders* (all 180000 of them and rising) are very much 
> spread worldwide. I'm guessing -hoping!- that the particular location of 
> our server has no legal repercussions on freesound as a whole.

Well, it might.  Usually this is solved by having a "choice of law",
"choice of venue" and "choice of jurisdiction" clauses in an online
contract that users are required to accept when using the services.
Mind you that many consider such "online contracts" (so-called
"click-wrap contracts") completely unenforceable in the best case, null
and void in the worst.

The long answer to your question has to do with international private
law, a subject on which I do not feel too confident to speak about
before giving the chance to the real lawyers to intervene.

> If this issue is relevant -> If the location of the server is of essence 
> then what happens when we start setting up mirrors elsewhere?
> > Besides the fact that I am not someone from CC, I think it might be
> > helpful to try and breakdown all the various issues which you think are
> > most urgent.
> 0. is there a legal difference between "music" and "samples"/"sound 
> effects"? Conceptually this is an impossible question to answer, but 
> perhaps courts of law have a different opinion?

As far as they can be both protected by copyright - no, there is no
difference.  The question is whether a "sample" can be protected by
copyright: to the extent that is representes the creative expression of
someone, the answer is yes.  Mind you that the final answer can only be
given by a court.

> 1. is the Sampling+ a "valid" or "good" or "correct" license to apply to 
> sound effects? (I think the answer can be a powerful "no")
> 2. which -if any- of the CC licenses could or can be used for sound 
> samples and what are the differences -in both legalese and idiot-proof 
> wording- between using those particular licenses.

I would like to read more of this thread before trying an answer on
these (assuming I will manage to find the time to do it, which I hope 
I will). For now I will stop replying and wait for others to speak up.


      Andrea Glorioso || http://people.digitalpolicy.it/sama/cv/
          M: +39 348 921 4379	     F: +39 051 930 31 133
       "Truth is a relationship between a theory and the world;
       beauty is a relationship between a theory and the mind."
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