Two questions: Legality of using song packs in original recordings, and alternate switch options?

1: I was wondering what the legality is for using the songs in original recordings. I assume that I could record original songs and use drum beats that were distributed with the pedal in my recordings, and distribute these songs online, and that there is nothing wrong (copyright or whatever) with this? What about using beats from premium song packs, like Led Zeppelin song beats? Since you can control the tempo and when fills, transitions, and different song parts appear, and since my melody parts laid over the drum beats would not be the same as the original songs that the beats are based off of, I assume it’s legal, but I wanted to know before I got myself into any kind of trouble.

2: Can you use an alternate foot switch like the Boss FS-7, or do you have to use the BeatBuddy official switch? I assume that other switches could work as well (as long as the polarity of the TRS cable matches, and the FS-7 has a polarity switch that should mean no matter you can make it compatible).

Thanks!

Section E of https://singularsound.com/legal-pages/terms-of-service-retail-customers/

You can generally use any external foot switch with a TRS cable. Not guaranteed that they will work but most times they will so if you have one, give it a shot.

Thank you for the terms of service link. I am betraying my own stupidity a little bit, but I don’t really understand what I’m reading. I apologize that I need my hand held a little bit on this… The following section seems to be the relevant bit:

Singular Sound Content License
Exclusive of Premium Content, Singular Sound grants Customers a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable license, to (i) access and view any Singular Sound Content solely for your personal and non-commercial purposes and (ii) access and view any Customer Content to which you are permitted access, solely for your personal and non-commercial purposes. You have no right to sublicense the license rights granted in this section. You agree not to use, copy, adapt, modify, prepare derivative works based upon, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, broadcast or otherwise exploit the Site or Singular Sound Content, except as expressly permitted in these Terms. No licenses or rights are granted to you by implication or otherwise to Singular Sound Intellectual Property, except for the licenses and rights expressly granted in these Terms.

With respect to Premium Content purchased, downloaded and lawfully obtained by Customer, Singular Sound grants Customers a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable license, royalty-free license to through the BeatBuddy Hardware publically perform, adapt, modify, and prepare derivative works based upon such Premium Content. However, Customer may not distribute, license, sub-license, sell, transfer, transmit, broadcast or otherwise exploit any Premium Content. No other licenses or rights are granted to you by implication or otherwise to Premium, except for the licenses and rights expressly granted herein.

But honestly I’m not really sure what’s allowed and what’s not. Does this mean that you cannot use the drum beats that are included with the device in recordings that are distributed for money, but that you can if you are not earning any money off of them (so they could be distributed for free only)? Am I interpreting it correctly?

I’m not a lawyer nor a Singular Sound employee so here’s my take. I’m sure Singular Sound will weigh in to clarify ;- )

  • this applies to Premium Content (whether you got it as a freebie—promotional pack, paid for it, or got it by any other means);
  • you cannot share nor sell Premium Content (however you get it);
  • these conditions apply even if you modify or adapt the Premium Content (for example, you add bass or other instruments)
  • same pretty much goes for the non-premium content but the terms appear to be more stringent.

As to how rigidly these conditions are enforced, I couldn’t tell you. If you look on this site, you’ll see plenty of users that are performing with the BeatBuddy and posting videos of their performances. This would seem to indicate that they’re fairly liberal as long as you’re not sharing nor selling the Premium Content.

If you want clarification or an exception to the Singular Sound Content License, it’s probably best to contact support@singularsound.com via e-mail.

So it sounds like from what you’re saying that the most likely case is that they intend for you not to share the content itself, so you can’t modify or share their beats in a way that would allow others to use that content to create music of their own while not being a paying customer of the Beat Buddy product line? But that, as a customer/owner of a Beat Buddy, I am free to create music using the device and the songs that I might make that were made from the included drum beats, it’s acceptable to distribute that however I wish? I might get in touch with their support as you recommended if nobody else has a more layman’s way of clarifying in this thread within a couple of days. I am afraid to ask them directly for fear that all they will be able to provide as an answer is more legalese like the terms of service that I already don’t comprehend.

Naw, I think they can provide you an easy-to-understand answer.

Thanks for the help. I sent them an e-mail, hopefully I was clear enough in what I was trying to ask about.

I believe that I answered your email, but to clarify for everyone else -

The only real limitation is sharing/distributing/selling the library content, in other words the song packages and/or the drumsets that we offer for purchase. You can use the default content as well as the library content to make your own albums, perform, etc and make a profit etc, no royalties need to be paid and you may distribute your own studio songs using our content.

Yes you did answer my question in the e-mail. Thank you very much for responding here as well. You’ve made it a lot more clear for me. It sounds like the only thing you can’t use in recordings distributed for profit would be the song packs from known artists, but that anything created by the BeatBuddy team is free to use in that manner. Just to be safe, I will avoid using the Led Zeppelin pack drum beats in my recordings.

I was saying that I cannot answer for the specific record companies on their policies on their artists’ intellectual rights. I don’t know if making a profit off of cover songs would or would not be infringing on their intellectual rights.

But from our end, you (and everyone else) are good to go. It would make our day to know that we are helping our customers turn a profit from their music. :wink:

This may be of assistance:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cover-songs-performing-recording-them-legally-sue-basko

Summing it up (for U.S. Users) - performing - if the venue has the appropriate licenses from ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, you are good to go. Recording - you will need to go the the licensing process described in the article, and compute, track and pay royalties based on your sales.
Outside the U.S.? - you would need to check with your equivalent of Ms. Basko.