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

February 17, 2011 by PSE in Sound Effects Licensing

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.


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!