Music Producers nowadays find Royalty Free Sounds an essential tool to their everyday music making routine. In this article we will answer the most common and vital questions regarding Royalty Free Content.
Let’s start with some terms. That will help understand what Royalty Free Sounds are and how or when they can be used?
To achieve this, we will talk about Copyrights, Royalties and Copyright Free and surely about Royalty Free terminology and differences.
This applies to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete.”
The copyright law can vary from country to country. In general, it gives the owner the right to prevent others from copying, creating derivative works, or publicly perform them.
Copyrights give the exclusive and assignable legal right, to the original creator to sell, print, publish, perform, film, or record literary their work. Basically, the copyright holder is the intellectual property owner.
In this case, content or art work copyrights have expired, given up or transferred.
Art works in the public domain are also copyright free. However, this does NOT mean the owner gives up copyrights when they license reproduction subject to payment of royalties.
A royalty is a revenue income earned from a copyrighted work. It is a sum paid to the copyright holder for use or sales of their work.
In music particularly, Royalty payments can also come from streaming and performing which falls under the category of use.
The Royalty Free term generally, refers to a type of contract or agreement between two entities (the licensor and licensee). In this case the licensee is normally free to use without having to pay any royalty charges, once the content is licensed under a set of guidelines and usage terms.
Some conditions can be, mentioning the creator or having to buy the content, which translates to a license of use. In this last case is where most selling Royalty Free Sounds are placed
One important thing to keep in mind, is that Royalty Free DOES NOT mean copyright free. Meaning the original creator is still the copyright holder but give you the licensing for a specific use.
Covering the terminology and applied to Royalty Free Sounds Content now know the following:
Copyrights are the ownership titles and Royalties Free is the license to use that content under a set of guidelines and usage terms without having to pay royalties.
So what are Royalty Free Sounds and how or where can we use them?
Royalty Free sounds can be, Drum Shots, Instrument Loops, VST presets, Plug in Presets, midi files, and more. The most talked about category, that gets most new producers and music makers confused, is the VOCAL category.
That’s because most of the times, the vocal is the so called “Soul” of a record. Is the element that makes it most recognisable since most of the times it defines the title of the song. Nevertheless, vocals are just another Royalty Free Element of your track and it should be treated as such.
To make things clearer, let us compare a ” vocal line” to a “kick sample” which is the most common Royalty Free Sound used.
Both are elements of your production that along with all the other samples and sounds give you the final song. That final production which can be produced 100% from Royalty Free sounds is now your own creation. Since the way you have used those sounds is “unique”.
All in all, legally downloaded Royalty Free content, snare or a vocal , they can be use to create your own original song.
Nevertheless, the confusion comes when releasing that track. So here is where things might get a bit complicated between vocal stems and other samples.
So let us keep comparing that Kick Sample to a Vocal Line. The chances of having a copyright infringement for not stating the kick in your track as royalty free, are ZERO.
That is because Kicks do not define the song’s ID, unless you have a hell of an ear. This leads us to the mistake some producers make, with vocals or even melodies, by registering the track without mentioning the use of Royalty Free Sounds.
Such an action, will surly cost issues to producers using the same vocal stem or lead melody in future projects.
In such cases, the Copyright Owner, has to strike with a copyright infringement. This action is to insure that the vocal or any other sound, remains Royalty Free.
In conclusion, Royalty Free Sounds are a true treasure to your Music Production arsenal. They make their way into countless Award-winning Records so they surely can make their way to your tracks too.
Summing up this is what you need to keep in mind though:
- Royalty Free Content does not mean Copyright Free
- You cannot re-sell Royalty Free Samples to other Royalty Free Shops (only the copyright owner can).
- Royalty Free Content can give you the license of use under a set of guidelines and usage terms. This is having to legally buy/download it from a legal distributor.
- Royalty free vocals, lead melodies, or any sound that defines your song, needs to be mentioned as such, when registering.
- However, can still register and be the copyright owner of your own production as a whole. This means you can release it through any major online music store.
Our goal by writing this article is to clear up the enormous confusion Royalty Free Sounds, mostly vocals, cost.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for unique vocals, where you can own Royalties and Copyright of, visit our Exclusive Page. Chose your favourite one and be the only buyer, to the only copy, of a one of a kind vocal!