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The Legendary Zoltan

Where do you stand on game remixes that are sold for money?

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Not sure if this has been covered and I reallllly can't bear to read the thread since legal stuff bores the living shit out of me, but what about pay-what-you-want models a la bandcamp? By that method, any money you make is technically a donation considering the minimum barrier for purchase is 'free'.

Well,you're still using someone else's IP to get that money, even if you don't require anything for it. So technically, I think someone could issue a C&D for that I believe.

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I don't care if it's legal or not, I don't think people should sell music unless it's their own work. Why do I think that? I feel that the spirit or thought behind a remix should be to pay tribute to a piece of music that has some sort of meaning to the individual or individuals. A remix should be a labor of passion, not something requiring compensation.

A musician who is good enough to make money from remixes, can certainly make money from original compositions. EDIT: Though I guess getting the proper licenses is fine.

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I don't think people should sell music unless it's entirely their own work.

Where do you draw the line? Should I use drum samples other people created? Should I use presets? Can I sample audio of another musical track, spoken word, etc.? Would doing any of the above qualify the track as not "entirely [my] own work?"

This is why legalese is booboo. I don't like line-drawing. It always leaves good, well-intentioned people on the bad side of the line.

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I don't care if it's legal or not, I won't buy a remix. I don't think people should sell music unless it's entirely their own work.

Remixing itself is as laborous as doing something original - you're trying to DO something original with already made material, itself an art form sophisticated enough to warrant compensation as long as the legal end checks out.

Apart from that legal end, this philosophy makes no sense. It's art and its difficult, and if the paperwork lines up for it, the artist could be compensated for what he did for it.

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Where do you draw the line? Should I use drum samples other people created? Should I use presets? Can I sample audio of another musical track, spoken word, etc.? Would doing any of the above qualify the track as not "entirely [my] own work?"

This is why legalese is booboo. I don't like line-drawing. It always leaves good, well-intentioned people on the bad side of the line.

Entirely was the wrong word, but yeah, drawing lines isn't a good idea, I didn't really intend to do that. I define original work as mostly, at least 75% to put a number to it, your own arrangement or melody, not from an already existing song. Not a great definition, but it's subjective by nature.

Apart from that legal end, this philosophy makes no sense. It's art and its difficult, and if the paperwork lines up for it, the artist could be compensated for what he did for it.

Yeah, remixing is laborious and an art, but the fact remains that the remix contains a recognizable portion of another song created by someone else. I don't feel it's really ethical to profit off of something that contains a noticeable piece of some one else's work. EDIT: Unless properly licensed, that's fine.

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I think that selling remixes without the consent of the original composer(s) is a bad thing. In any other case, I don't see why it wouldn't be okay.

I mean, yeah it's difficult to arrange music, but if you make money out of someone else's ideas, I think they deserve at the very least part of the profit you make. (EDIT: if they ask for it anyways)

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I don't care if it's legal or not, I won't buy a remix. I don't think people should sell music unless it's entirely their own work. Why do I think that? I feel that the spirit or thought behind a remix should be to pay tribute to a piece of music that has some sort of meaning to the individual or individuals. A remix should be a labor of passion, not something requiring compensation.

A musician who is good enough to make money from remixes, can certainly make money from original compositions.

I'm not certain I like this line of thinking at all. What about non VGM remixes? What about in cases where a remix is widely praised as better than an original? What about people who draw their income solely off their music? You're saying that even if they obtain proper licensing (which costs them their own money in addition to the time they spend working) that you won't support them if the work is not 100% original?

Tribute or no, if an artist has obtained proper licensing, and they feel compelled to sell their music, they have earned that right. Your choosing whether to buy the music or not should be based on the quality of the music and the impact it has on your life, especially if they are abiding by any and all legal prerequisites. Selling art for money does not dilute the quality of the art.

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Yeah, I suppose once the proper licences are obtained, selling remixes isn't a bad thing. A lot of people have made that point, and it's a good one. I personally wouldn't sell remixes (not that I'm good enough anyway, even if I wanted to), but I shouldn't expect other people to share my philosophy. I didn't think that through, think before you post, good technique.

And I probably actually would buy a remix to support the artist, assuming it was good enough. Quality art is still quality art, whether or not money is involved.

EDIT: More thinking, less posting. And I do understand that people make a living from music, and if they get licensing, yes, they should be able to make profit from remixes if they so choose, video game music or otherwise.

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Let's say that I offered a remixer $150 to remix the Main Theme from Game YYYYZ. Would that be considered a game remix being sold for money?

(yes I'm just trying to make this topic hard.)

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Let's say that I offered a remixer $150 to remix the Main Theme from Game YYYYZ. Would that be considered a game remix being sold for money?

(yes I'm just trying to make this topic hard.)

Yes, it would. Next question! ;)

I kind of feel like we found a concrete answer to the question that everyone agrees on; and that answer is, "It's OK if they get the license for it."

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I think that selling remixes without the consent of the original composer(s) is a bad thing. In any other case, I don't see why it wouldn't be okay.

If the proper royalties are paid, a musical artist can cover, remix, or parody and subsequently sell ANY piece of existing music that they want to regardless of whether or not the original artist "wants" it to be done. To require "permission" to do a cover, remix, etc. would effectively mean that music would be protected against parody or criticism.

Had this ruling not been made, people like Weird Al Yankovic would have never been able to do some of the fantastic work that he's done. Interestingly enough, this ruling was made in no small part due to Weird Al's involvement in the issue!

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But IS it really that easy? I am definitely planning on trying this in the near future actually. It seems like you could apply for the license and get a reply like, "unable to obtain license" because they couldn't get a hold of the original company or that company said no. Is that not a possibility?

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But IS it really that easy? I am definitely planning on trying this in the near future actually. It seems like you could apply for the license and get a reply like, "unable to obtain license" because they couldn't get a hold of the original company or that company said no. Is that not a possibility?

No, it's not possible for a license to fail because they were unable to get a hold of the original publisher to gain their consent. Copyright law states that as long as the royalties are paid to the publisher, ANY song may be covered or parodied by any person with/without the consent of said publisher then sold commercially (i.e. sold in an album).

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