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Question for the Fractal Audio Team: is it legal to actually sell presets made with your products?

GuttaLaser

Power User
I think that so-called "intellectual honesty" is far too slippery a term a to have any legally-useful definition.
... my counter-argument:
Not a "counter-argument" Man... just exactly what i mean!
In fatc I refer to "intellectual honesty" just because is a "mind setting" totally unusable in legals therms!
As i said: The idiot man A can legally sell his patch... but... he remain an idiot man A. ;)
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
Yeah, we've had this conversation a number of times over the years and while I was originally pretty much against the practice, I was convinced otherwise for one simple reason.....there is work involved and work deserves compensation. As far as how much that work is worth; well the market can determine it. Basically people are usually willing to pay what they feel is fair and not much more than that.

In terms of product branding using FAS logos and names; well that's up to them to decide, but if you look at it from a practical standpoint if someone out there had never heard of FAS or AxeFX and stumbled upon some website with this sound on there that they absolutely wanted to have and learned about FAS then it's almost like free advertising. That person may then go and buy the product. It's more about showing the customer what product it works with rather than trying to create a false association with the company (people are very visually oriented and the internet is no different).

I think that some kind of disclaimer would be a good idea though.
 

TheTrooper

Inspired
As long as they don't use trademarks that don't belong to them there's no ambiguity to the legalities here; they are well within their rights.


You can't use the Fractal Audio logo without their permission. The content of the video isn't the problem, it's the use of a trademark that doesn't belong to you. Fractal Audio can decide if they choose to enforce their trademark or not.

That's what I was interest about the watermark/trademark thing.

Of course using a watermark without permission from a company isn't really ideal, but as some other user pointed out, it can be a sort of a "free ad - free publicity" BUT let's say the guy that is demoing/videotaping/recording isn't doing a too good job (i.e. kinda sucks), I'm sure the company will have something to say about that.
So in the end, I guess it's entirely up to the company to take a decision or send an "ultimatum" or cease and desit; on a side note, that means that anybody of us reading can do the same thing, and I don't see why I wouldn't do it in the future, IF the company decides that I'm not portraying a false image of the quality of the product (If they decides that I don't suck too much :p )

Well maybe not so much the Fractal Audio reaction to people selling presets, but more the whole ethos of having commercial presets and the pitfalls that can happen. That's probably the way this discussion will go too. IIRC FAS stayed out of the last discussion.

I can't see FAS being too annoyed because to use a syx file (as long as one of their commercial copyrighted IRs isn't bundled with it) created on a FAS device you need a FAS device to use it. A few years back the Axe-FX was seen as brilliant but maybe a bit daunting to dial in and there were many geeky suggestions on how things could be done in the deep editing .... so even though it's come quite a way since then, the more buzz about third party presets that will help you get results quicker, the more units you potentially sell to people still on the fence worried about 'tweaking'.

Yeah, absolutely excluding the re-sale of commercial IRs or presets.
We could say the same thing about the companies that make Commercial IRs for FAS: I'm sure they pay a royality or they have bought a commercial license to do that; shouldn't user that actually SELL their presets do the same?

Like many other "virtual things" that are on the todays digital market, it's all about what I call "intellectual honesty".

If i take a factory preset and tweack a little of eq, change the factory cab with another factory cab and spin a couple of other knobs and then I sell that patch... well ... it's legal but I think is not "intellectually honest".

But if I build - say - an "Hendrix tone" patch starting from an empty grid, putting on that work all my effort and a lot of time, collecting all the original tones i can get, analyzing those tones (maybe using my quality and professional gear in my studio: from some guitars to quality monitors, spectrum analyzer, etc) and after a lot of tweaks, try-and-compare, measurements... and a lot of work and time spent on that project... I don't see WHY i can't ask some money for the "AxeFx Woodstock Hendrix Tones Library"
(even with the most sexy 3D rendered virtual box in my e-store! :D ) .

Can you do it by yourself? Just Good!... don't buy it, do it!

Absolutely, I was exactly going that way: intellectually honesty.
It's of course a very subjective thing: if we take an es. like death penalty, somebody might be ok with it, other might not.
That's up to the way You feel about it.

About the example You made (Hendrix tones): In that case, I feel (agin, this is my point of view, which doesn't need to be embraced by anybody) that You have to pay/buy a license A) to FAS for selling these presets B) to use the name of said artist (that is "Hendrix" in this case) that SURELY has a trademark of some sort on it.

I have to say there is solid community here and an incredible exchange of thoughts, ideas, opinions and technical knowledge. Patches are shared frequently.

As far as selling on this forum I would contact a moderator and ask.

^ This

Contacting a moderator would be at least something to do.
I feel the same way.

The community is incredible, that's why by selling presets without and explicit permission/license I feel You're kinda stepping out of it, trying to be the "smart guy" just to make a few $$$.

Again, other people can think it is not a problem, that's just my view.

People are buying KNOWLEDGE, not amps. Anyone can create these presets with a little imagination, a bit of studying up, and a clear idea of what they want to do. They are not branded 'Fractal Audio' by naming them by the platform.

Well if they are actually buying knowledge I don't know, most of the guys that are doing so are making their own presets on their personal tones, I'm sure there is some guy blatantly copying other presets and reselling them just to appear smart and/or copying some tones from a famous name for the same reason.

I've surely seen other guys copying the tone (let's say "drawing inspiration" haha) from big names and then bragging about it because people thought they were cool, but that's because they probably have a small dick. :rolleyes:

(If someone reading this perceive to be included in that category, just so you know: I don't give a rat's ass, that's Your problem.
Not here to start a fight/nasty discussion nor this is a shot to anybody doing so.)

This is an oft discussed subject. The bottom line is if you like what a creator has done, buy. I have purchased a few interesting ones (Moke's Organ/Plexi is a pretty cool preset, and I did not have any desire to go through the trouble of researching/making it.) I have purchased a few others, but as with all these things, what works for some may not work for others. Their style/guitar/whatever didn't quite translate perfectly to my situation, so most of them sit somewhere far down on my preset list...never used. (The excessive use of compressors/PEQ and wild routings generally seems 'too much' for me...I can get the tones I like without those additions.)

Moved.

I'm not in any way criticising the act or against the selling of presets.
I've seen most of the people on the forum (Moke, Fremen and so on) doing it smartly (and in a sense, right, by actually giving most of them by sharing them; I've really enjoyed their stuff) and others just bypassing all forum (wrongly, if You ask me).

Sorry if I posted in the wrong part of the forum BTW, I had no idea where it was supposed to be posted.

R
 

TheTrooper

Inspired
I think that so-called "intellectual honesty" is far too slippery a term a to have any legally-useful definition.

As I noted in my previous post, the sysex file is nothing but a list of parameters for the code in the AxeFX.

Your argument, as I read it, seems to have something to do with the effort or knowledge that the creator brings to the process of creating a patch. If that's true, then here's my counter-argument:

Let's say that vendor A takes a factory patch, changes a few parameters, and sells it. Meanwhile, vendor B uses his/her extensive knowledge and expertise to create a patch from scratch, and sells that patch. I think you'd say that it's OK for B to sell the patch, but not for A.

But... what if A and B both happened to create the same patch? Remember, the sysex file is just a bunch of parameters. You have no way of knowing how much (or how little) effort went into creating that patch. And the two patches are identical...

Now, I can see the argument that vendor A is not as competent or as diligent or as "intellectually honest" as vendor B. But they're the same patch... So the question becomes (I think) do you pick the vendor based upon knowledge of their process, assuming that the vendor is not only willing to share that detail of their business? Furthernore, what's your criterion for evaluating the vendor's honesty when they tell you about how they created the patch?

Absolutely, the topic of intellectual honesty it's such a volatile subject that can't actually be described on words.

I agree on the example You made, but I'm sure the "A" vendor wouldn't feel the same way :D
Plus it would be impossible to know If said guy did that as an "A" or "B"

From the Axe II manual:
...
It's all right there. By using Fractal products, you agree to this.
There is no mention of presets or any restrictions on them at all, so Fractal makes no claim to their usage either personal or corporate. You are free to do whatever you want with them.

Fuck me, that was LONG. (I read it all because I wanted to understand, anyway)

There is no mention of the word "preset" but there is a section where it says "selling a product of the software" .
This is something only the company can answer, really.

Yeah, we've had this conversation a number of times over the years and while I was originally pretty much against the practice, I was convinced otherwise for one simple reason.....there is work involved and work deserves compensation. As far as how much that work is worth; well the market can determine it. Basically people are usually willing to pay what they feel is fair and not much more than that.

In terms of product branding using FAS logos and names; well that's up to them to decide, but if you look at it from a practical standpoint if someone out there had never heard of FAS or AxeFX and stumbled upon some website with this sound on there that they absolutely wanted to have and learned about FAS then it's almost like free advertising. That person may then go and buy the product. It's more about showing the customer what product it works with rather than trying to create a false association with the company (people are very visually oriented and the internet is no different).

I think that some kind of disclaimer would be a good idea though.

As I said before: yes, It can be a free ad, no doubt about that.

110% on the disclaimer

I didn't expect that much opinions and response, but I like that, It's a pretty interesting topic i think.
I personally think we are all right about the subject, because each one of us can perceive the topic a bit differently than all the others.
I guess there's is no right or wrong/yes or no answer (for now)?
 

maxdown

Fractal Fanatic
You should have said "That's very generous of you Cliff ..... about $2K would do me to start with ... here's my PP account email" ;)
 

Jack Napalm

Power User
In my particular case, I did contact 'Cliff Chase' directly for his advice about selling presets and the included 'Tone Matched' IRs. His response was...."You absolutely deserve to be compensated for your time"

Your's are worth it.
 

Moke

Axe-Master
Vendor
You should have said "That's very generous of you Cliff ..... about $2K would do me to start with ... here's my PP account email" ;)
Lol........Actually, I have had a couple of people tell me that they were on the fence about which 'Modeler' to go with, and chose 'Fractal' because of my presets. A huge complement for sure.

I do need an 'AX8' to be able to do 'one on one' custom stuff......;):rolleyes:....I'm just saying.....
 
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wcfieldskx

Power User
Presets quite often don't even translate properly because everyone uses different gear (guitars, speakers etc..)...so I don't understand why people even buy presets. Just make your own. It's pretty easy and people here are willing to help.
 

Rex

Legend!
If I was the company, I would be a little pissed about somebody doing that (I perceive it like a sort of exploit) but this is jus the way I see it, that's why I asked for other opinions.
You buy a PC. Then you write a program that runs on that PC. Then you sell the program. Should the PC manufacturer be pissed about that?
 

TheTrooper

Inspired
In my particular case, I did contact 'Cliff Chase' directly for his advice about selling presets and the included 'Tone Matched' IRs. His response was...."You absolutely deserve to be compensated for your time"

Exactly, You asked to the manufacturer/owner and he gave You the all clear; this is how it should be done and how I think it's the right way.
Since we are on the subject and I know that You know the subject, what do You think of who just sell presets without asking for permission?
Again, this is not to start a fight, just to have information from somebody that know the ins and outs.

Presets quite often don't even translate properly because everyone uses different gear (guitars, speakers etc..)...so I don't understand why people even buy presets. Just make your own. It's pretty easy and people here are willing to help.

Amen to that, I don't even have a clue.
I can understand buying presets if they have some crazy interaction between effects/difficult to reproduce and made by scratch by the guy (and sold properly), but monetizing on "Jimmy Page '70s" "Hendrix LSD" and doing it blatantly copying famous names has no sense to me.

People want instant gratification and are willing to pay for it. We all do it to some extent.

110% true.

You buy a PC. Then you write a program that runs on that PC. Then you sell the program. Should the PC manufacturer be pissed about that?

That's not the same, the PC is largerly made for that, plus You are buying a license with the OS, paying taxes and in some cases even collaborating with the PC manufacturer if they feel it is worth it.
A good exaple (remaining in the FAS family) would be Cab Packs: there's a collaboration between FAS an Mikko, they have a licenseand they surely pay taxes, they have a contract.

I know it's not an easy subject what I was talking about, that's why I asked. :)
 

Rex

Legend!
That's not the same, the PC is largerly made for that...
It's exactly the same thing. The Axe-Fx is entirely made for running presets.


plus You are buying a license with the OS...
You have a license to use Fractal's firmware.


...paying taxes...
What have taxes got to do with it? That's between you and your government.


...and in some cases even collaborating with the PC manufacturer...
And in most cases, not collaborating with the manufacturer.


I know it's not an easy subject what I was talking about, that's why I asked. :)
It's a very easy subject. You're making it complicated. :)
 

Whistler

Inspired
People want instant gratification and are willing to pay for it. We all do it to some extent.


Honest reply.......I want instant gratification and am willing to pay for it. I spent over £3000 on my fractal set up, I'm sure Fremen's, Moke's, and silent underground presets that I've bought work out to be a VERY small percentage of that but have transformed my fractal experience immensely.


.so I don't understand why people even buy presets. Just make your own. It's pretty easy and people here are willing to help.

It's pretty easy to clean my house and I'm sure my wife would be willing to help but I still pay a cleaner. I like paying for things I DONT like doing and that includes building presets.:)
 

GuttaLaser

Power User
The entire 3d is purely academic, 'coz we have the original Cliff's p.o.v. about that: you can sell your patches.
The nearest analogy is that there are tons of synth patches on the market based on specific synth brands and models. Those synths have their Own OS, synth engines, samples and editors... but a patch is like the music you make with those synth!
If you buy an hammer you don't have to pay to the factory for every nail you stick on the wall.
With an AxeFx you can make 2 things: music AND patches. And you can sell both!
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
Preset IP is a somewhat slippery slope. I would guess no one selling presets hasn't learned some technique from either examining other 3'rd party presets or even examining the factory presets. So in that sense, a preset for sale is probably not 100% original?

Everyone draws the line in a different place on issues like this. For me, when there is blatant plagiarism, then I consider that immoral and would not defend it. This would be either re-selling someone else's work as an exact copy, or as a "Vanilla Ice" copy (i.e. changing something very minor and calling it your own).

Other than that, why not let the market decide? Who am I to say someone can't try to sell presets? Or who am I to discourage others from buying presets? The business of making money in music is a tough road for a lot of people with mouths to feed and bills to pay.

I personally have bought presets from @Moke (3 IIRC) and @SilentUnderground (August 2016 pack on the basis of @Black Bitch demos). In both cases, I feel like a satisfied customer.
 

TheTrooper

Inspired
It's exactly the same thing. The Axe-Fx is entirely made for running presets.

It is not the same thing, selling and running are 2 different things.
A shovel is made to dig, but You can still use it to kill people.

Not the same.



You have a license to use Fractal's firmware.

Fair enough



What have taxes got to do with it? That's between you and your government.

I was talking about the legality of the procedure



And in most cases, not collaborating with the manufacturer.

Doesn't change that there's collaboration in other cases.



It's a very easy subject. You're making it complicated. :)

It is not.

Preset IP is a somewhat slippery slope. I would guess no one selling presets hasn't learned some technique from either examining other 3'rd party presets or even examining the factory presets. So in that sense, a preset for sale is probably not 100% original?

Everyone draws the line in a different place on issues like this. For me, when there is blatant plagiarism, then I consider that immoral and would not defend it. This would be either re-selling someone else's work as an exact copy, or as a "Vanilla Ice" copy (i.e. changing something very minor and calling it your own).

Other than that, why not let the market decide? Who am I to say someone can't try to sell presets? Or who am I to discourage others from buying presets? The business of making money in music is a tough road for a lot of people with mouths to feed and bills to pay.

I personally have bought presets from @Moke (3 IIRC) and @SilentUnderground (August 2016 pack on the basis of @Black Bitch demos). In both cases, I feel like a satisfied customer.

I agree whit what You are saying and I don't care If presets are sold or not; as the title reads, it is how the all thing his made, with and ok from the company or without.

Both Moke and SilentUnderground make their own presets that then sell; they don't copy anybody/any big name tone to make a profit, that's what I'm talking about.

As we said, that can be felt differently between 1000 people, I just wanted to know someone else's opinion and how would they handle it. ;)
 

Rex

Legend!
It is not the same thing, selling and running are 2 different things.
A shovel is made to dig, but You can still use it to kill people.

Not the same.
It's exactly the same. PCs are made for running programs. You can create your own programs and sell them. Axe-Fx's are made for running presets. You can make your own presets and sell them.

It's exactly the same. I think you understand that, but it's more fun to cast bait.
 

YetAnotherOne

Inspired
As long as they don't use trademarks that don't belong to them there's no ambiguity to the legalities here; they are well within their rights.

True but with the caveat the present creators, if they apply a bit of common sense, would probably fall into an exception in US law that allows third parties to utilize marks they don't own in very limited ways. It's been a while but the general idea is that such uses are allowable where reasonably necessary to identify the product being sold and where marks are not used in such a way as to cause consumers to believe that the third party's use of the mark implies an endorsement or sponsorship from the mark's owner.

E.g., it would be kind of difficult to sell patches for a Fractal Axe-Fx II without identifying the unit the patch was designed to run on. Consider, "A bluesy patch for the latest rack unit made by that company in New Hampshire owned by the guy whose initials are C.C.," versus, "A bluesy patch for Fractal Audio's Axe-Fx II XL+." One of those works in the marketplace, the other ... not so much. Hence the exception.
 

iaresee

Administrator
Moderator
True but with the caveat the present creators, if they apply a bit of common sense, would probably fall into an exception in US law that allows third parties to utilize marks they don't own in very limited ways. It's been a while but the general idea is that such uses are allowable where reasonably necessary to identify the product being sold and where marks are not used in such a way as to cause consumers to believe that the third party's use of the mark implies an endorsement or sponsorship from the mark's owner.

E.g., it would be kind of difficult to sell patches for a Fractal Axe-Fx II without identifying the unit the patch was designed to run on. Consider, "A bluesy patch for the latest rack unit made by that company in New Hampshire owned by the guy whose initials are C.C.," versus, "A bluesy patch for Fractal Audio's Axe-Fx II XL+." One of those works in the marketplace, the other ... not so much. Hence the exception.
This is an excellent refinement on what I said.
 
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