Beware When Using Sample Libraries - Potential Legal Issues


Squawk

Minor irritant. May cause a rash.
VIP Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
204
Reaction score
31
Points
28
Location
Under a rock
I rarely use samples in my work, apart from the occasional drum loop, but I have recently purchased some vocal sample packs to use in EDM and pop productions.

I got this email today from a UK law firm. Fortunately, I haven't used any of the samples in question in anything. However, this raises the murky issue of sample libraries, in relation to their origin, even when purchased from "legitimate" sample library companies. Ironically, I received no notification from WA about this as of yet.

This is a potential legal headache for anyone who has already released tracks, had placements, etc. with work containing any of these samples.

Here is the email:

9 July 2019 By email

Dear Sir/Madam

Notice of copyright infringement

We act on behalf of Extreme Music Library Limited, which operates the Extreme Music Library (EML).

It has come to our client’s attention that packs of samples, called “Construction Kits", recently sold by WA Productions (WA) infringe our client’s copyright Specifically, these Construction Kits contained vocal samples unlawfully copied from tracks from the EML.

The specific Construction Kits in question are as follows:

  1. Synthwave & Retro Dream
  2. Deep & Phat House
  3. Outlaw Mega Pack
  4. Big EDM - Futuregon Vocals
  5. Big EDM - Trap Vocals
  6. Big EDM - Septagon Vocals
  7. Vocals of Tomorrow
Our client has been notified by WA that you purchased and downloaded one or more of the above Construction Kits. We are aware that WA has offered you a full refund in respect of the Construction Kit(s) you purchased. For the avoidance of doubt, a list of the specific samples which infringe our client’s copyright are contained in the enclosed schedule.

We are writing to put you on notice that the vocal samples from the Construction Kits must not be used by you in any way without a formal written licence from our client. Without such a licence, any use of the vocal samples owned by our client will constitute copyright infringement, for which our client will hold you personally liable.

If you have already included the vocal samples from the Construction Kits in any work delivered to a third party, please notify such third party immediately that your work contains infringing samples and report the details of such work to us.

Finally, our client requests that you immediately delete all and any infringing vocal samples from any devices to which you may have downloaded them.
page1.jpg


page2.jpg


page3.jpg


page1.jpg


page2.jpg


page3.jpg
 

Monkey Man

VIP Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Messages
92
Reaction score
7
Points
8
Location
Australia
Wow.

How the heck did WA allow that to slip though? I'm guessing, seeing as it seems to involve a single artist, that the "misunderstanding" might've only been between WA and one person, which normally mightn't have amounted to much relatively-speaking, had such a huge number of samples from said artist not been used, and across multiple libraries.

At any rate, it's not a good look for WA. :shock:
 

Squawk

Minor irritant. May cause a rash.
VIP Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
204
Reaction score
31
Points
28
Location
Under a rock
I think it’s something that can happen with WA or any other sample library labels, big or small. People get greedy and lazy, and things can slip through the cracks.

It’s just a good reminder of what can potentially become a big legal headache.
 

Squawk

Minor irritant. May cause a rash.
VIP Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
204
Reaction score
31
Points
28
Location
Under a rock
I figured out which sample pack it was that I had purchased, and I have been in contact with WA by email over this. I have to now go back and check, but I don't think it's anything I've actually used.

The crazy part? They still have it offered for sale on their website. I've pointed that out to them, and asked what steps they are taking now to ensure that this type of thing never happens again. I'll let you know what they say...
 

Squawk

Minor irritant. May cause a rash.
VIP Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
204
Reaction score
31
Points
28
Location
Under a rock
They also told me that they did send me email notification when they were informed of the issue, but I never received anything. It might have gone to spam...
 

Squawk

Minor irritant. May cause a rash.
VIP Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
204
Reaction score
31
Points
28
Location
Under a rock
They did actually pull the offending samples out of the pack and renamed it on their site. I was informed that they were no longer selling vocal samples from producers (content providers), only ones they create themselves.
 

Squawk

Minor irritant. May cause a rash.
VIP Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
204
Reaction score
31
Points
28
Location
Under a rock
Still, this can happen with any samples, vocals or otherwise. It’s just that vocal samples are more easily recognized...
 

Squawk

Minor irritant. May cause a rash.
VIP Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
204
Reaction score
31
Points
28
Location
Under a rock
FYI to anyone reading this thread, (and who has read my posts over at Gearslutz on the Splice thread, I have been communicating with WA Productions about the legal letter I had received, and had asked if these samples were previously distributed through Splice sounds as well.

The answer is, yes they were.

"As for your question about Splice - Splice also took down the copyrighted sounds and they sent a message to all users that downloaded these sounds with an explanation + they gave these users 25 credits as an apology."

I think that says it all right there. o_O
 
Top