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  1. R_E
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       #1  
    So I was thinking of making a soundboard app like one of the many many currently available in the app catalog. However, from what I can see, these apps are blatant copyright violations. This is especially true for the ones that charge. Considering the recording companies and can sue for hundreds of thousands for just distributing copyrighted material, I imagine it could be even worse.

    Ignoring any moral implications, my question is, if I decide to try to release and charge for a soundboard app, can I get sued an exorbitant amount by the copyright holders of the audio?
  2. #2  
    I think Fair Use laws come into play here, but haven't dug into it personally.

    I know when I did some video work for my church and we dug into the rules relating to professional music that we were able to use and what was classified as illegal. We found a few references online to viable options with music using up to about 25sec of music from any song (great when you wanted to use something quick intro wise from a Yanni CD). Anything above 25sec was then a gray area we did not have answers for, but luck for us we didn't have to breach often.

    I'm sure the laws have changed since then, but then this area is real gray and it isn't that clear since we are nolonger talking just music and have music, writers, performers, unions, video presentations, etc all to contend with. Heck, I read somewhere that websites are now getting sued for gleaning information without permission from other websites.

    Would love to have more information and glad you asked. Let us know what you find. Sorli...
  3. #3  
    I had the same question.
  4. R_E
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       #4  
    the wiki article is inconclusive for this use case. Are there any lawyers on the forum that might shed some light on this?

    Edit: found an interesting article: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyrigh...pter9/9-c.html
  5. #5  
    In general, copyright does not protect a sound bite, slogan or a short phrase from being reproduced under fair use laws as long as proper credit is given. When republished in and application or on a website, logos, sounds & artwork retain their original copyright. Files are provided under fair use purely for personal use and enjoyment.

    I am not a lawyer – but this appears to be the consensus of web searches on the subject.
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  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by not-yet-pre View Post
    In general, copyright does not protect a sound bite, slogan or a short phrase from being reproduced under fair use laws as long as proper credit is given. When republished in and application or on a website, logos, sounds & artwork retain their original copyright. Files are provided under fair use purely for personal use and enjoyment.

    I am not a lawyer but this appears to be the consensus of web searches on the subject.
    are you sure you aren't a lawyer? everything you said sounds correct, but for the life of me I can't tell if you are saying the soundboard apps are ok or not... are you a politician?

  7. #7  
    I am not a lawyer.

    As far as my understanding, Fair Use would not cover the use of copyrighted material use in this manner. Here is a good read on Fair Use from the good people at Stanford. It's not long, go have a read.
    Stanford Copyright & Fair Use - Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors

    I would assume to do a soundboard and not violate copyright you would have to gain "Mechanical Rights" to the work.
  8. #8  
    It couldn't be covered by fair use as you would be distributing it at that time.

    I haven't done much digging into it, but that is what I understand from what I've read.
    Arthur Thornton

    Former webOS DevRel Engineer at Palm, HP, and LG
    Former webOS app developer (built Voice Memos, Sparrow, and several homebrew apps and patches)
    Former blogger for webOS Nation and webOS Roundup
  9. R_E
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       #9  
    Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This seems somewhat conclusive. Assuming this is illegal, the app developers that make these apps have some serious trouble ahead. I wonder how much they could potentially owe if they are sued.
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    #10  
    It's fine as it's only using very short clips. They're unable to start a lawsuit. Just don't go using trademarked phrases for your product.
  11. #11  
    Don't think any big companies are gonna care. Spending thousands of dollars taking someone who made $1-$100 off a soundboard to court? Also, I'm sure these companies/shows/games or whatever get a big amount of free advertising from this, considering millions of people see these(webos,iphone,android etc).
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by acidhax View Post
    It's fine as it's only using very short clips. They're unable to start a lawsuit. Just don't go using trademarked phrases for your product.
    If you'd read the Wikipedia article, you'd see the precedent says otherwise:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the decision and ruled that the sampling was in violation of copyright law. Their argument was that with a sound recording, an owner of the copyright on a work had exclusive right to duplicate the work. Under this interpretation of the copyright law, usage of any section of a work, regardless of length, would be in violation of copyright unless the copyright owner gave permission. In its decision, the court wrote: "Get a license or do not sample. We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way." This decision effectively eliminates the de minimis doctrine for digitally sampling recorded music in the Sixth Circuit, and has affected industry practice.
    The "de minimis" doctrine basically says what you're saying: "It is too small to make a difference" except this precedent says that it doesn't matter. You're still ILLEGALLY stealing work someone else made (and copyrighted) and as such, you're not allowed to distribute it.
    Arthur Thornton

    Former webOS DevRel Engineer at Palm, HP, and LG
    Former webOS app developer (built Voice Memos, Sparrow, and several homebrew apps and patches)
    Former blogger for webOS Nation and webOS Roundup

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