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Published on February 17th, 2011 | by PSE

3 Little-known Facts About Royalty-Free Sound Effects Licensing

At PSE, we often refer to our­selves as Next Level Licens­ing Spe­cial­ists. I know, it’s a bit Star-Trekian meets tech-geek, but when you are work­ing with the Moth­er­ship of  Next Level sound effects libraries such as Blast­wave FX, you have to be pre­pared to go where no man nor sound has gone before while pro­vid­ing the ser­vice to back it.  Over the course of our sonic jour­neys and client encoun­ters, we have dis­cov­ered 3 com­mon mis­un­der­stand­ings related to usage and licens­ing of royalty-free sound effects libraries. Here they are:

1. Royalty-Free does not cover all Sound Effects Uses: The default Indi­vid­ual End User License Agree­ment (IEULA) that comes with royalty-free sound effects libraries cov­ers per­pet­ual syn­chro­nized use in media pro­duc­tions such as TV, Film, Radio, Video Games, Web­sites, Pod­casts and other Inter­net based fin­ished media. There are cus­tom appli­ca­tions and usages of royalty-free sound effects that require addi­tional cus­tom appli­ca­tion sound effects licens­ing -  ring­tones, iPhone/iPad/Android apps, cer­tain web appli­ca­tions, audio soft­ware, hard­ware devices and more.

pro sound effects licensing 300x84 3 Little known Facts About Royalty Free Sound Effects Licensing

2. Royalty-free License Default = 1 Indi­vid­ual End User: When you pur­chase a sound effects library, the default license cov­ers one, indi­vid­ual, sin­gle user for per­pet­ual royalty-free synch use (see our IEULA). Many sound effects users we know mis­tak­enly assume that “royalty-free” or “buy-out” means that once you buy you can share with all of your  col­lab­o­ra­tors, co-workers, co-producers, col­leagues – this is not the case. It is much eas­ier to under­stand if you think about sound effects licens­ing as soft­ware licens­ing . If you have more than one user that needs to access the sound effects library, you need a Multi-User License spe­cific to the num­ber of users, appli­ca­tion and tech­ni­cal set-up (PSE aims to makes this a breeze).

3. Royalty-free sound effects  & Net­worked Envi­ron­ments: Let’s say you pur­chase the SONOPEDIA sound effects hard drive and want to put it on a server or shared stor­age so you can access it remotely (i.e. on your iPad vis a vis brand new Japan­ese mas­sage chair)- this requires addi­tional license cov­er­age beyond the default IEULA , even if it is you, alone.

Ques­tions, com­ments, or ideas? PSE is here to help with any licens­ing issues you may have. Sign up for a free sound effects licens­ing con­sul­ta­tion. Pro Sound Effects will walk you though all of the options for licens­ing sound effects for any num­ber of users, tech­ni­cal require­ment or appli­ca­tion – space mon­keys included!

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