Are sound effects also copyrighted?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Proto, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. Proto

    Proto Guest

    I would like to try to duplicate some sound effects I like from various
    movies. Just how far can one go in the creation or duplication of certain
    SFX. I am not refering to natural sound like dog or rain but if I wanted to
    use the exact sound of a particular car crash or a sucking sound etc. could
    I just USE this clip as it might only be a second or two unlike music? If I
    created the sounds on my own and they ended up sounding exactly like the one
    in the move am I treading on forbidden grounds?

    Proto, Jul 25, 2003
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  2. My understanding is that you can REplicate or CREATE
    anything you wish. You will then hold the copyright to
    those sounds yourself.

    DUplication is starting to tread on thin ice, however.
    Especially if you are so good that you can't tell your
    work from the original (likely copyrighted) original.
    For example, you can't write a song that uses the
    same melody, chords, and words as a popular song.
    The big unknown here is that you have not revealed WHAT
    you wish to use the sounds FOR. If it is just for some home
    movies for the amusement of your family and friends, you can
    likely get away with anything you want (including use of
    copyrighted music.)

    However, if you intend to use it for something you intend
    to sell and/or claim copyright, my opinion is that you are
    leaving yourself open for liability.
    My guess would be that your IP attorney would advise
    against it. Just look at the legal controversy over use of
    small "samples" of music in recent styles like rap, hip-
    hop, etc.
    Richard Crowley, Jul 25, 2003
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  3. Proto

    Jay Rose CAS Guest

    Copyright law was changed 25 years ago to allow copyright for sound
    effects. Prior to that, there was no protection.... and some music store
    SFX CDs are actually poor transfers of pre-1978 vinyl commercial sfx

    But I suspect you're talking about lifting an effect from a movie or tv
    show. In that case, you can't tell whether the effect has been copyrighted
    separately eor not... but you can be sure the entire show is.

    IANAL, but my understanding is that if the effect does not have a separate
    copyright, and if the show's owners claimed infringement and you wanted to
    use Fair Use as a defense, you'd have to build your case on how little of
    the movie you used, the lack of economic harm, and the impossibility of
    identifying that specific effect by the general public... and the judge
    could still take it either way. Of course, your lawyer might say

    Of course, these days with giant ip companies coming after grandparents'
    bank accounts because junior downloaded songs on the computer they bought
    him, everything's up in the air.
    Jay Rose CAS, Jul 25, 2003
  4. Proto

    DavesVideo Guest

    SEE-SIGFILE said:
    bank accounts because junior downloaded songs on the computer they bought
    him, everything's up in the air.>>

    Exaggerating to make a point, or did this actually happen? I would be
    interested in reading the news story.

    DavesVideo, Jul 25, 2003
  5. Proto

    Proto Guest

    Ya, that part really sucks. They should make it like it is for the guy at
    the top. If you can get away with it from 4 to 8 years and you change jobs
    you get away scott free.:)
    Proto, Jul 26, 2003
  6. Proto

    Max Volume Guest

    I think most sucking sounds are the intellectual property of the
    actress doing the sucking. You might want to consult a lawyer on that,
    Max Volume, Jul 28, 2003
  7. Proto

    Isaac Guest

    The story I read suggested that the owners of ISP accounts were being
    served. In some cases that would mean the parents of children who are
    doing the actually downloading. That doesn't mean that the parent is
    ultimately going to be held responsible. Generally speaking in the US
    parents are not responsible for torts of their kids.

    Isaac, Jul 28, 2003
  8. Proto

    PTRAVEL Guest

    PTRAVEL, Jul 28, 2003
  9. Proto

    Chimera Guest

    There must be some sort of loophole for ripping off sound effects, explain
    to me how techo artists can 'sample' different sounds from other bands to
    remix into their own compilations.
    Chimera, Jul 28, 2003
  10. Proto

    AnthonyR Guest

    I don't think its a technical loophole, just hard to prove you did it.
    For example, if you are going to steal a 5 seconds sound effect and then
    remix it into
    your own music, why not just recreate the sound effect yourself?
    I don't think they can patent sounds, so a bell sounds like a bell, a
    whistle like a whistle, a car door like a car door etc. then tweak the
    frequencies and equalize it and you got your own sound that sound just like
    the one you were going to steal.
    As long as you can show in court that you created it on the pc, it shouldn't
    be a problem, I think.
    Am I wrong? Can sounds be copyrighted?

    AnthonyR, Jul 29, 2003
  11. Proto

    Proto Guest

    I was asking because I was curious if there were any guidelines or
    definations as I know I can create certain sounds I like that I hear at the
    movies that will sound exactly as the original. The IDEA of a sound combined
    with the timing of the use of that sound might be considered stealing but
    not if the IDEA was shared. Or would it? To use the same IDEA to create the
    same FX resulting in the same sounds but not copied just USED. Copyright

    Proto, Jul 29, 2003
  12. Proto

    Tom Leylan Guest

    They apparently tried (but it seems have given up) to trademark the sound
    because it was distinctive of a Harley. The MGM lion's roar is apparently
    registered as a trademark and the NBC chime is registered as a service mark.

    Nothing quite bores me as much as law... but I believe you will find
    patents, copyrights, trademarks and service marks cover different angles
    with regard to somebody being able to use them for their own purposes. The
    limits of these things are also routinely challenged in courts.

    In any case I was trying to suggest that people interested in this thread
    simply use some common sense when it comes to such issues. If have a
    suspicion that some audio or video clip will cause you a problem it might be
    best just not to use it.
    Tom Leylan, Jul 30, 2003
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