Borrowing, copying, remixing, reimagining.
Art wouldn’t be able to progress the way it has without creative people becoming inspired by the work of others, and acting on those feelings through the act of imitation. Music is no exception here – many of our favorite genres (and the sample industry itself) was born out of people taking sounds from other people’s records, reshaping them into something unique, and putting that back out into the world as a fundamentally new work.
Since we launched Splice Sounds, we’ve noticed some recurring issues with sample packs that we’d like to address. First, we prohibit our sample providers from providing samples that are generated from pre-existing works, like a full song or other samples. The law isn’t very clear on when it’s okay to use pre-existing works and so we’d rather be safe than sorry. Second, we require our providers to agree that when they provide us with samples, they aren’t violating any other agreement, such as an end-user license agreement for virtual studio technology (VST) that might prohibit the distribution of its samples via a service like ours. Legal issues aside, we also don’t find a lot of value in distributing sounds that already exist in VSTs.
We take a lot of steps to protect users and respect all creators, including the ones whose work may be taken advantage of. For instance, we strive to ensure that our Quality Principles for content are clear so providers fully understand our expectations for content as well as why we take action on content that doesn’t meet our standards.
Originality issues with samples have come up in the past, and will likely come up in the future. When they do, we investigate immediately so that we can determine the right actions to take – actions that we believe to be in the community’s best interests – that include Splice and its users. If we’ve identified sounds that we believe may expose our users to potential legal problems, we may seek to notify everyone who has purchased those sounds in the past. If you’ve released a commercial track that contains a sample from Splice and we’ve notified you that there may be an issue with that sample, please reach out so we can support you in mitigating any risk.
Splice is a creator-first platform, and we want Splice Sounds to reflect our values when it comes to quality and originality. We know that these issues come up and continue to affect the sample industry, and we want to do everything in our power to push the conversation forward and keep you in your creative flow. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can investigate, resolve any concerns, and continue improving the catalog!
June 17, 2019