Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

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Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby ancestral » March 11th, 2015, 5:08 pm

As a part of GDC this year for indie developers, Timothy McHugh from Sonniss announced the release of premium sound effects for use in the gamedev community on a royalty-free basis, for both commercial and personal use. Feel free to check it out. (Great for our UMC authors!)

The file is 10 GB in size. Currently, the best way to download it is via torrent.

https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/commen ... _download/
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Soniss

Postby Andrettin » March 11th, 2015, 7:47 pm

ancestral wrote:As a part of GDC this year for indie developers, Timothy McHugh from Soniss announced the release of premium sound effects for use in the gamedev community on a royalty-free basis, for both commercial and personal use. Feel free to check it out. (Great for our UMC authors!)

The file is 10 GB in size. Currently, the best way to download it is via torrent.

https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/commen ... _download/


That's quite nice of them, but since it's not released under the GPLv2, then I imagine that UMC authors wouldn't be able to upload those sounds to the official server, since it would contradict server policy of having everything under the GPLv2.
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby ancestral » March 12th, 2015, 7:25 am

There’s no issue here.

I am no lawyer, but this is almost identical to pure royalty-free licensing.

The license is for the individual developer, not the product or user AFAICT (note again: I am not a lawyer). There is no license to bundle with the product files. I think it would be like using Photoshop or most DAW software (commercial products with a EULA) to make images or music for your GPL game.

So what can and can’t you do? You…

  • Can use with project free for life
  • Can use as sounds with any multimedia, like games or YouTube videos
  • May share with others
  • May use commercially
  • May not sell entire library
  • May not claim authorship by modifying it
  • May not use for illegal or illicit purposes
  • May not sell the libraries

This is very reminiscent of royalty-free licensing, which means, you can use, without restriction, but cannot re-sell (or often re-distribute) the library itself. And here you can even pass the whole thing along to your friends anyway. The GPL meanwhile can still recognize authorship — that is, it wouldn’t be appropriate to say “I'm claiming a sole copyright only for myself on it because I made changes to the files.” In fact, attribution is not required — you just can’t slap your own name on the files and specifically say you made them.

Not sure if the illegal or illicit purposes part would be considered a restriction that would conflict with the GPL licensing (which would be odd); something that could be considered highly subjective to begin wtih anyway. Also, If your software is doing illegal and illicit things, you’re probably going to get into worse trouble from other sources. In other words, causing the termination of your license would probably be the least of your concerns.
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby Andrettin » March 12th, 2015, 10:03 am

I think there would still be an issue, since UMC authors wouldn't be able to relicense the material if they aren't the original copyright holders. Using Photoshop to make art is a different matter, since Photoshop is a tool to make the content with, while what is being distributed here is the content itself.

The license is also ambivalent in regards to commercial use. While this part reads:

"3.5. Licensee may use any of the sound effects in this collection for commercial projects."

...just after, we have this:

"4. The Licensee may not

4.1. Sell the sound libraries or contents of any of the sound libraries for the purposes of commercial gain.

[...]

4.4. Any of the sound effects libraries on Sonniss may not be sold onto third parties in any format whatsoever other than is granted to the Licensee."

Also, the requirement that the license be governed under English law would probably make it incompatible with the GPL as well:

"13.3. These Terms will be governed by and interpreted according to English law. This means a Contract for the purchase of sound effects libraries through Sonniss, and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it or these Terms will be governed by English law. All disputes arising under them will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts."
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby iceiceice » March 12th, 2015, 1:47 pm

Also not a lawyer here but I took a look at it. I've gotten these questions wrong in the past but anyways here are the parts that look to me like they might not be compatible with GPL v2:

3.4. Licensee may share this sound effect collection with friends.

Why does it say "friends" here and not "anyone"? Am I not allowed to share it with anyone? If not then this is some restriction on my right to distribute I suppose.

4.3. Use the sound libraries to enter into any uses associated with, or encouraging, illegal or illicit activities.


What exactly does that mean? Does this mean I wouldn't be allowed to make a game like Grand Theft Auto using these sounds?

---

I think that basically how the add-on server works right now is that you cannot put content on wesnoth's add-on server unless it would also be okay to put that same content up for download on your website after slapping a GNU GPLv2 on it.

Here's the part that makes me think its probably okay.

3.5. Licensee may use any of the sound effects in this collection for commercial projects.


Presumably that means that the I can do this without changing whatever my own license is -- so whatever commercial project it is that I have, Timothy McHugh automatically agrees to let me use and distribute these sounds effects under the terms of my license?

That's the only sensible meaning that I can see, however it's a bit odd because I guess it means that people can circumvent the other restriction he wanted to add regarding distribution and modification, since they apparently have the right to distribute it under terms compatible with any commercial project. :hmm:
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby ancestral » March 12th, 2015, 2:02 pm

Guys, this is the end-user license, not a license for the content. There is no license for the content.

Andrettin wrote:4. The Licensee may not

4.1. Sell the sound libraries or contents of any of the sound libraries for the purposes of commercial gain.

4.4. Any of the sound effects libraries on Sonniss may not be sold onto third parties in any format whatsoever other than is granted to the Licensee.

This is no different than other royalty-free packages. For example, GarageBand, a popular Apple music-making app includes software instruments and loops that are free to use. However, you can’t turn around and sell those instruments or loops.

I’d love to hear from any of the Lords of Music on this, but it’s my understanding this is very common practice with software sound and music libraries (EWQL, VSL, etc.), and I would wager any of the purchased instruments or loops used in Wesnoth music has similar stipulations. (It’s not the license for the content; it’s the license for you to use the content.)
iceiceice wrote:3.4. Licensee may share this sound effect collection with friends.

Why does it say "friends" here and not "anyone"? Am I not allowed to share it with anyone? If not then this is some restriction on my right to distribute I suppose.

4.3. Use the sound libraries to enter into any uses associated with, or encouraging, illegal or illicit activities.

Again, it’s not a license for the content; it’s an end-user license.
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby iceiceice » March 12th, 2015, 2:31 pm

ancestral wrote:Guys, this is the end-user license, not a license for the content. There is no license for the content.


I don't know what you mean by "there is no license for the content". I think that is the license that says how I can use the sounds in the sound library. *I myself* am the licensee in that document, since I am the person who will be using the licensed media -- in my own project.

I think "End User" just refers to the person outside of Soniss who is receiving the media bundle, in that document. "End User" is just the title, it's not a term in the license.

Soniss End User Agreement wrote:1.1. This Sonniss EULA is a legal agreement between yourself (the Licensee) and Sonniss, the Licensor. In the Agreement, the party who is granting the right to use the licensed media will be referred to as “Licensor” or “Sonniss”, and the party who is receiving the right to use the licensed media will be referred to as “Licensee”.


The question is whether this document gives me enough rights to distribute as part of a GPL v2 project / under the terms of GPL v2. I don't see how this helps:

ancestral wrote:This is no different than other royalty-free packages. For example, GarageBand, a popular Apple music-making app includes software instruments and loops that are free to use.


"Free to use" is not the same as GPL compatible.

GarageBand is not being distributed under the Soniss EULA, it's under some other terms. Also I think there's a big difference between purchased digital instruments and sound effect files. Because you won't be distributing the instruments themselves in your project, only the things you create with them. The sound effect files will be actually distributed verbatim with the game / add-on.

Again, I think that most of these restrictions would not be compatible with the GNU GPL. But because he also has this section that says that seems to say that I'm free to distribute under whatever terms my project has, it seems that he's automatically relicensing the work to me under the terms I want (GPLv2). He's only doing that though if I have an actual project, and not if I'm just trying to turn around and resell his content which I received for free, I guess... :hmm:
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby Nikita_Sadkov » May 13th, 2016, 5:04 pm

Thanks for the link. Although that package is just too huge :augh: I have converted them to ogg and shared at https://github.com/saniv/free-game-sfx/ ... gdc-bundle . The only other restriction appears to be that you cant sell these sounds separately, but you can freely distribute them or sell a game using them. Forcing everything to be GPL scares off contributors and limits the project. Not everyone likes GPL, and most contributors would be better off going with CC-BY license. There are also licenses disallowing use by government, by big corporations and by various political entities.
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby Pentarctagon » May 14th, 2016, 7:32 am

There is some movement towards allowing CC licenses, for add-ons at least. For the Wesnoth project as a whole, my understanding is that moving the art/sound to some kind of CC license would be preferable, the main barrier being tracking everyone down and getting their permission to relicense or dual license their work under whatever CC license would be used.
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby Nikita_Sadkov » May 14th, 2016, 5:25 pm

Pentarctagon wrote:There is some movement towards allowing CC licenses, for add-ons at least. For the Wesnoth project as a whole, my understanding is that moving the art/sound to some kind of CC license would be preferable, the main barrier being tracking everyone down and getting their permission to relicense or dual license their work under whatever CC license would be used.

What forbids using both CC and GPL2 licenses? The only problem I see is when you want to mix CC and GPL2 into a single work (i.e. a Wesnoth youtube trailer), but I guess providing a copy of original (unmixed) GPL2 sample would satisfy the license.
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby Dugi » May 14th, 2016, 6:01 pm

I was searching around it a bit and I found that CC-BY-SA 4.0 is one-way GPL compatible. It was decided exactly because of this, there are tons of GPL software and most free art could not be used because it was CC, almost identical to GPL but not allowed to be used with GPL.

Because all these licences contain a section that makes them compatible with their future versions, any CC-BY-SA licence is GPL compatible. CC-BY and CC zero have always been GPL-compatible.

Creative commons licenses that contain letters ND or NC are clearly different from GPL, which makes them incompatible with no hope of ever changing, because GPL endorses modification and allows earning money from it.

Explanation of CC shortcuts:
BY - attribution - you must give credit to the author
SA - share alike - derivative works must keep the licence, or a similar one
ND - no derivatives - you cannot modify it
NC - non commercial - you cannot use it to earn money
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby Pentarctagon » May 14th, 2016, 6:08 pm

Nikita_Sadkov wrote:What forbids using both CC and GPL2 licenses?


Most of the art/sound assets are not licensed under a CC license, and since the copyright for those assets was kept by whoever created them rather than given to the BfW project, they cannot be re-licensed without the permission of whoever created them. So, if you can get the permission from someone to use a CC license for whatever they contributed, then it can be put under a CC license. Otherwise, it's stuck under the GPL license.

There are CC licenses that are GPL compatible, and vice versa, but if I am remembering correctly there was a strong aversion to allowing multiple types of licenses to be used, since then it's not immediately clear exactly which license something is using.
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby Nikita_Sadkov » May 17th, 2016, 6:03 pm

Dugi wrote:Creative commons licenses that contain letters ND or NC are clearly different from GPL, which makes them incompatible with no hope of ever changing, because GPL endorses modification and allows earning money from it.

My guess is that ND is useful, when you want to release a demo-version of your commercial game, but don't want people to modify it into a complete version (i.e. allow it play arbitrary maps). NC means it is only for personal use, because any site hosting NC content and also serve commercial ads or begging for donations would be infringing license. I.e. freesound.org could be DMCA-ed or even sued, because of making money on ads.
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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby FaeLord » October 21st, 2016, 7:59 am

After reading this thread, I would like to ask, is CC-BY music GPL compatible? And if so, can it be used in campaigns created for Wesnoth? What are the rules for this?

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Re: Royalty-free sound effects from Sonniss

Postby Pentarctagon » October 21st, 2016, 8:40 am

Yes. The most recent discussion I know of about licenses was this pull request, though it doesn't seem to have gone anywhere, so as far as I know the rule(#1) still is that everything uploaded to the add-on server must be licensed under the GPL.
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