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20081120 Thursday November 20, 2008

Don't use FL Studio loops!

The FM office was alive with debate this morning as it surfaced that both the drum loop and the main riff from the club-classic Faxing Berlin by Deadmau5 are available as loops in FL Studio 8. Not only that, but a little-known artist is currently being struck down by the wrath of the law for using the loop (which he assumed was Royalty-free and claims to have used not knowing it was Deadmau5's riff) in a recent release.

Both the drum loop and the chords from the track, available under Melody Loops Pack in the browser and called LP_Faxing Berlin A_128bpm.ogg and LP_Faxing Berlin C_128bpm.ogg, are embedded within a host of other loops which Image Line are now claiming are not royalty-free after all and only the one-shots that come with FL are available for commercial use.

Here's the original Faxing Berlin if you don't know it already, and here's Dirty Circuit's Berlin track.

Image Line's Jean-Marie Cannie had this to say on the IL forum:

"The loops & demo songs are available to demo what's capable in FL Studio ... it doesn't mean you can just render the songs & loops and start selling them as your own. The (single hit) samples sure are ready to use in a composition but it should be pretty clear that anything else (whether it's a demo song, melodic loop, score, ...) belongs to its author(s). "

However, the debate brought up some interesting points. One rattled FL user writes:

"Demo songs are one thing; they're clearly by FL users, copyrighted (with notices of such), and meant to display the power and features of FL. But uncredited (and with no notice of copyright) "melodic loops" stuck in the same folder as royalty free "drum loops" in a GIANT DIRECTORY FULL OF ROYALTY FREE SAMPLES? It would take a borderline paranoid individual to even THINK that these samples might actually be unsafe to use."

The debate continues to rage over at the Image Line forum and no doubt will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

FM are on the case to get a reply from Image Line, but as it stands, it's a pretty bizarre scenario. Who is at fault here? Image Line for providing the loops without clear statement that they are not royalty-free? The artist for taking a clear loop from FL and 'selling it' as his own? Then again, plenty of GarageBand samples have been used to create number one records – isn't that the point?

What do you think? Man steals from Deadmau5? Image Line steal from Deadmau5? Man perfectly within his rights? Or 'ouch, my brain hurts'?

And speaking of the 'mau5, be sure to check out a more relaxed, less litigious, Deadmau5 in our issue preview a few posts down – and the full interview in the next issue of FM – on sale 28th November. Oh and stay away from those FL loops – they're not yours. Apparently.

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deadmau5;s a giant toolbag and FL needs to make their shit more clear.

Posted by slice two ( on November 20, 2008 at 03:42 PM GMT #

Seems to me that the fault is mainly image line's, for putting entire melodic loops belonging to other artists in their sample library. I'm not even sure that's legal.

Posted by Mateo ( on November 20, 2008 at 03:50 PM GMT #

I agree with Mateo. Unless explicit notice was given that the sample was copyrighted, Dirty Circuit had no reason to believe the sample was unavailable to use as he pleased. And given that legal action is being taken, we can assume Deadmau5 was unaware and never gave consent to FL including his sample in the software.

Also, one aspect of Jean-Marie Carrie's statement is absurd. The loops in the sample pack are meant to demonstrate what is possible in FL?! Aside from the fact that it would be difficult to prove that the sample was created in FL, loop libraries exist to aid in the music creation process. DEMOS demonstrate, loops are meant to be used.

The negligence on FL's part here are shocking to me...

Posted by Scott ( on November 20, 2008 at 07:00 PM GMT #

I installed the FL demo and took a look at what it said regarding samples.

If you go to Help followed by Product Information followed by Samples and Sounds you will see the following at the bottom of the page:

"All samples are royalty-free, which means you can use the samples in your own compositions and songs without paying any further royalties. You are not allowed, however, to resell or redistribute any or all of the samples as a sample pack or sample CD."

Note I also posted this here:

You can find a link to another forum discussing this as well.

Posted by matrix ( on November 20, 2008 at 08:39 PM GMT
Website: http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2008/11/can-using-loops-in-fl-studio-get-you-in.html #


Posted by Mike ( on November 20, 2008 at 08:46 PM GMT #

Spot on, Matrix, as always. Thanks for bringing such info to the public. ImageLine doesn't have the right to hide his mistakes and blame their own userbase instead. I believe this clears whose mistake that is.

Dirty Circuit is absolutely not guilty of anything.

Posted by GlassX ( on November 21, 2008 at 02:49 AM GMT #

We have been bundling dozens of songs & demo's with FL Studio for over 10 years now and it has always been quite clear that you don't just take whatever you want, render it and start selling it as your own.

I find it a bit hard to believe that I (probably being the only non-musician around here) have to defend or explain this kind of abuse to musicians.

The reason for including these melodic loops in FL Studio was to demo the power of Slicex (the new slicer we have).

These loops were provided to us by (amongst others) Joel (DeadMau5) Zimmerman with the agreement to bundle with our software (there's some great material bundled with Deckadance as well).

Just as with the demo songs or the content of FPC (our drum machine) this doesn't give anyone the right to just render it and start selling it under his own name on iTunes or BeatPort.

I guess we'll have to find a decent description on when a sample or instrument turns into an orignal composition ... that CAN be sold as your own.

Posted by Jean-Marie Cannie ( on November 21, 2008 at 02:50 PM GMT
Website: http://www.flstudio.com #

Whoa! Jean-Marie! You haven't thought this one through, have you? Deadmau5 gives you samples that are basically lifts from his hit record. Some poor guy uses the samples because they're shit hot and releases a track. He gets sued by DM because - hey - these samples are lifts from his record and somehow this is NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU? Users of FL put your loops together to make tracks - don't get holier than thou on our ass now, this is how it works. But now users of your software are supposed to know by some kind of bizarre sixth sense which are the illegal loops? Man, you screwed up. You gotta clear your samples! The only message anyone looking in can take from this is don't use FL Studio loops, they're not checked properly. Pass me the GarageBand...

Posted by teddanson ( on November 21, 2008 at 03:33 PM GMT #

So, Jean-Marie, you're suggesting that illegal, non-cleared sampling is "okay" as long we mangle them and don't get caught? This is as ridiculous as using Delphi to write music software...

Posted by MX ( on November 21, 2008 at 03:52 PM GMT #

Jean-Marie. You clearly are a non-musician aren't you? Otherwise you wouldn't have given away someone else's music in your program. Any musician would know that that is going to go off like a stinkbomb sooner or later.

Why not go ahead and put some Kraftwerk samples in the next FL? I hear they're free too...

That said I reckon the real villian of this piece is Deadmau5. Giving/selling your loops to FL Studio (a piece of software well known for its simplistic, loop-based tune construction) then having the balls to sue when someone uses them? Maaaan... Hey, mau5. You either made a hit record or you sold loops to FL Studio. You can't do both.

Posted by chillwinston ( on November 21, 2008 at 03:58 PM GMT #

I don't know much about him and have never heard his music, but I would venture to say that Deadmau5 is most likely not personally responsible for the suit.

More than likely it is the legal team at Playrecords (or whatever label) that automatically springs into action at the first sniff of blood. thats what legal teams do, and under normal circumstances such actions would be understandable.

These, however, are not normal circumstances. The comment by Jean Marie is deplorable in its ignorance.

Imageline obviously goofed and they need to step up, admit it, and help get "Dirty Cirquit" off the hook here.

Trying to wiggle their way out of this with statements such as those issued by Jean Marie will do far more damage to their public image than just saying, "we f%$ked up, what can we do to straighten this out" will do.

Posted by jimmy ( on November 21, 2008 at 06:47 PM GMT
Website: http://nne #

Where the hell are those loops listed as demo loops? Are they, or are they not sitting with the rest of your so called Royalty Free loops that you guys have advertised to death?

Just man up and realize you guys fucked up. No need to blame the user. You guys are pathetic. Thank god I use Logic. Apple would never pull what you guys do. Feel ashamed, and I think Image Line, and Deadmau5 owe a public apology to Dirty Circuit.

Posted by Scott Metzger ( on November 21, 2008 at 06:47 PM GMT
Website: http://www.saturdaynightvillain.com #

Where the hell are those loops listed as demo loops? Are they, or are they not sitting with the rest of your so called Royalty Free loops that you guys have advertised to death?

Just man up and realize you guys f**ked up. No need to blame the user. You guys are pathetic. Thank god I use Logic. Apple would never pull what you guys do. Feel ashamed, and I think Image Line, and Deadmau5 owe a public apology to Dirty Circuit.

Posted by Scott Metzger ( on November 21, 2008 at 06:49 PM GMT
Website: http://www.saturdaynightvillain.com #

How ridiculous! Deadmau5 is an idiot, and the makers of Tootie Floots aren't much higher up either. You simply can't throw someone's loops in your library and NOT expect them to get used in a "song" at some point. On the other hand, Dirty Circuit shouldn't be totally off the hook here. I find it lazy and deplorable that someone would simply arrange someone else's loops and think they have a completed song. This is simply laziness. Deadrodent has been kicking himself in the ass lately, way to go man!

Posted by Computer Controlled ( on November 22, 2008 at 08:04 AM GMT #

This is why there is such a thing as lawyers who write terms and conditions. It seems the terms as explained by Image Line are

"All samples are royalty-free, which means you can use the samples in your own compositions and songs without paying any further royalties. You are not allowed, however, to resell or redistribute any or all of the samples as a sample pack or sample CD."

So guess what, that's how you set up the game. Users have no legal responsibility to read further into what you meant or make any other decisions about "samples" included with your product.

Forget "what you should have understood," forget "what we meant was," forget all your excuses, in a court of law, it would be super simple to define a "sample" in a way that include's deadmau5's loop and therefore the LEGAL responsibility will remain with Image Line, which is all that matters when we're talking about a lawsuit.

The only downside is that Dirty Circuit might have to pay a lawyer to show your incompetence/negligence to you.

The courts are a system unto themselves and "common sense" does not always matter there.

Posted by dv ( on November 22, 2008 at 09:32 PM GMT #

Universally stupid, Man. (in a suggestive retort against image-line.)

Posted by rayzr ( on November 27, 2008 at 08:30 AM GMT #

If you listen to the demo on myspace you can also hear that this artist also is mimicking the same drum sounds as in the intro for faxing berlin.
These sounds are not so easy to spot in the full mix aka the loop in fl studio, so I don't buy that he hasn't heard of faxing berlin before.
I haven't checked if the drum loop is a sample of faxing berlin, but if it is it's not taken from the fl studio loop.

But I totally agree that fl studio's attitude is really bad. How can people know what is ok to use and what is not?

Posted by Cosmic ( on November 29, 2008 at 03:49 AM GMT
Website: http://none #


I just found the drumloop in fl studio too. Forget my last comment! Now this was really bad on fl studio's part.

Posted by Cosmic ( on November 29, 2008 at 03:54 AM GMT
Website: http://sorry #

Ya know, the real issue here that sticks out to me is whether or not the loops are in a place where somebody would even know they are demo loops. And guess what: they aren't. They are in the folders with all the rest of the loops in FL Studio. They aren't in a demo folder, they aren't in a project of their own. They are just a couple of loops inside of a larger base of loops. Image-Line should just fess up and stop blaming everyone else. Deadmou5 should get real and get over himself. The loops aren't even anything special anyways.

Plus, not everyone has heard of Deadmou5. Actually, outside of the DJ scene-ya know, his main source of customers, the group he insulted with extremely vulgar words by saying DJ's are C****s, not many people at all have heard of him.

It would be different if he had written something that was some international hit and he was some kind of superstar. Unfortunately for him, he's not even close.

Posted by koolkeys ( on December 01, 2008 at 12:42 AM GMT #

Clearly image line's fault, and when it comes to court Im sure as much will be said. I think Deadmau5 will have more luck (and financial gain) form suing image line than some random myspacer.

Posted by Drum Loops ( on December 03, 2008 at 06:35 AM GMT
Website: http://www.loopcache.com/ #

I know this is a little late to weigh into the the arguement, but the dirty circuit is totally at fault.
The loop in FLstudio is one bar. one friggn bar. thats it. He's ripped of DeadMau5 whole track.
there is a little difference between using a drumloop provided with flstudio and someones whole track.
Sounds like he's trying to come up with dodgy defenses if you ask me.
What i want to know is how the hell did he manage to sell the track? or is it only on myspace.
Faxing berlin was one of the biggest tracks of 07. his is beyond a blatant rip off

Posted by dan ( on December 08, 2008 at 12:57 AM GMT #

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