legal issues and collaborative spirit

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legal issues and collaborative spirit
  • Dear members of the cohmunity,

    Some of us had a lively discussion within a project and we have considered that these issues should be discussed in the forum. Some legal elements may be specified by Ohm Force, others must be set by the Cohmunity, such as ethic and collaborative work in peace.

    My english is really too weak to lead the discussion. So I would be only launcher of the discussion.

    I would first insist on fine words that were written in our "private" debate :

    "I would like the conversion to be positive, and not turn into a "fear" campaign, where mistrust is the order of the day.ohmstudio is a platform where the musicians of this world might be able to lead by example, and show others just how well we can all get on, with a spirit of trust and adventure, and mutual respect for one another."

    so, let's open the discussion. Here are some feelings that I had in ohmstudio and, today, I regret immeasurably

    - I happened to delete my guitar tracks immediately after the recording and told me that the idea was too good to be left in a project that was not mine.
    - I happened to get angry because someone had heavily modified the things I had recorded.
    - I happened to find unfair attribution of owner and contributor, according to the job of each one.
    - I can feel some of my friends from real life very reluctant to come in (whereas I find this software really great!!?)

    I'm not the best mate for collaboration. I apologize. But I really like ohmstudio. And I am convinced that the cohmunity will work best if the musicians willing to give the best of themselves. To provide their best, musicians must play with peace of mind and in total confidence.

    A conversation with Red Force took away most of my fears (I invite him to resume his arguments here, I would not distort his words). But this conversation focused on the legal aspect of owner / contributor, and importance of the track creator. It remains to speak about good collaboration rules. I think the main thing is to talk about what we do usually, common practice and difficulties, etc...

    If I am the only guy here to find sometimes difficult to collaborate, tell me too. It is possible that this is a character problem :D

    It's time to let another voices express here.

    peace and music!


  • It would be nice if...  If I make a project and I want to be clear about the terms, I should be able to state them in a way that anyone joining or cloning the project should be made aware of - like when you first run a piece of software you see the licence.

    Whether OhmStudio itself should have more options to "enforce" such ideas, I guess, is another question.
  • Not wishing to stop anyone reacting but I understand Red_force is on holiday at the moment so I think it's best we all just wait till he is back and posted his points on both the copyright and "code of conduct" issues.
    Then lets all read it and contribute to this discussion afterwards. 

    Red_Force if your back please delete this post.  :D
  • Hi,

    First thank you alex for this feedback. The legal aspects are always something touchy and we had a lot of reactions about this since we announce Ohm Studio (yeah, long time ago 
    :| ).

    Our stand about this is quite simple: we are not the law and we can't rule ownership amongst members. That's a fact. But we could provide you tools to declare under which copyright you will collaborate, something that any users will have to validate before entering the project. Anyway, if I understood well, the default law in western country at least (usa, europe) is the big C for copyright: everything you do is yours. 
    BTW, one or two years ago, an attorney from Creative Commons contact me a propose me to help in pushing CC in Ohm Studio. The discussion was in fact a bit complex, and it looks like it's not easy to put a copyright on something that does not exist yet. What I understood from this is that could be impossible to say "what you WILL do here will be under creative commons". For now, CC can say that what you have made is under CC.

    I'll try to dig this point a bit more. In the meanwhile, I invite you to watch this if you haven't yet or this one for more specifications about big C:

    PS: I reserve all rights on this comment. Thx. 

  • Copyright is a bit of a pain, yes.  Unless (a) you create something tangible (i.e. "ideas cannot be copyrighted") and (b) come up with some foolproof way of assigning copyright, the minefield only gets worse the more people you're collaborating with.

    The "easy" way is to say those recording their ideas in OhmStudio retain their copyright.

    So... if I do the mix for a track, then those mix settings are mine!!  Um, I think... I don't think that's ever been tested in a court of law, has it?  And I'm not going to be the first to try...
  • International copyright law is both complex and at many
    levels useless to begin with. Anyone with good enough computer skills can steal
    anything they want to include money from your bank account. It happens every

    There is no easy solution to the problem of copyright infringement.
    We would all like to live in a safer world, but that is not going to happen. We
    should attempt to develop a trusting relationship here on ohm with the people
    we work with. This is a fun place to be and I for one would like to see it
    continue that way.

    The ohm system provides many options for how each of us can
    deal with a project. I will use the tools provided and trust the developers.
    There is risk in anything a person does now days.

    The methods and processes that we will come to use and
    follow will come over time.  I do not
    expect that everything that I post on ohm will turn out the way I had
    envisioned but I am OK with that. I have made some new friends here in a short period
    of time. Several of my friends from other sites and who I know from live work
    have decided to join me here. This place is not perfect anymore than working in
    a live studio is perfect. Having said that I want to be here and will continue
    to deal with issues as they come up. I have faith the developers of this
    program will do the best job they can.

    Make friends, make music and be happy!!

    Best I can do in French...sorry

    Le droit d'auteur international est à la fois complexe et à plusieurs niveaux inutile de commencer. Toute personne ayant de bonnes compétences en informatique assez peut voler quoi que ce qu'ils veulent inclure l'argent de votre compte bancaire. Il arrive tous les jours.

    Il n'y a pas de solution facile au problème de violation de copyright. Nous aimerions tous vivre dans un monde plus sûr, mais cela ne va pas se produire. Nous devrions tenter de développer une relation de confiance ici ohms avec les gens avec qui nous travaillons. Il s'agit d'un endroit amusant d'être et je voudrais pour un de le voir continuer dans cette voie.

    Le système ohms fournit de nombreuses options pour la façon dont chacun de nous peut faire face à un projet. Je vais utiliser les outils fournis et faire confiance aux développeurs. Il existe un risque de quoi que ce soit une personne fait maintenant des jours.

    Les méthodes et les processus que nous allons venir à utiliser et suivez viendra au fil du temps. Je ne m'attends pas que tout ce que je poster sur ohms tournera la façon dont j'avais envisagé, mais je suis OK avec ça. J'ai fait quelques nouveaux amis ici dans un court laps de temps. Plusieurs de mes amis d'autres sites et que je connais du travail en direct ont décidé de me rejoindre ici. Cet endroit n'est pas parfait plus que de travailler dans un studio en direct est parfait. Cela dit, je veux être ici et nous continuerons à traiter les questions comme elles viennent vers le haut. J'ai la foi, les développeurs de ce programme va faire le meilleur travail possible.

    Faites vous des amis, faire de la musique et d'être heureux!

  • Sorry if I come a bit late on this thread but I think it's a really interesting one. IMHO Alexone is very honest in telling some intimate feelings I am pretty sure quite a lot have at some points.

    I won't paste my comments from the inner thread because it's really close to what Yellow said. 

    I think it could be pretty easy for us ohmies to consider things to be clean in term of security, traceability and legal stuff and to overlook the psychological factor. I wonder if we shouldn't think back the wording for "owner" & "contributor". Or maybe just change the way I deal with invite on saturday events ? Right now I tend to put everyone has an admin to have everyone able to publish the project. Should I change that ? Honestly, it's hard to predict who will take the most weight on those collabs, and I'd feel very unconfortable if had to pick who should end up owner and who shouldn't - or if I was the only owner while having done nothing with the song. There's no easy solution to this, and I think it's true with a lot of public project. 

  • I suppose the option of "owner: and contribute" does suggest that the contributor losses their owner ship of there work unless they are made "owner" in a project.
    How about Manager instead of owner ? At least it high lights the responsibly of the "owner" for all the other peolpe evolved in the project and protect and care for all material including production or engineering work.

    I regard the Weekly Collabs as just a bit of fun and a way to meet new people like any other club. I see no issue with giving the ownership to "trusted members of Ohmstudio" under the premise of fairly managing ( I'm convinced that's the right name now ) the project they have bee asked to manage.
    You can even pick a name out the hat if you have plenty of reliable Ohmmies.
    Of course at the end of the day collaborators are the owners 
  • Thank you for these interesting answers. About legal rights, I find it difficult to understand concretely. I will give examples (sorry if some seems stupid).

    I ask these questions because I'm a modest composer, writer and performer outside ohmstudio (as many of you) and so I have to report my activities and pay taxes to a copyright association, and, sometimes, can get (tiny) copyright incomes.

    Not need to aswer to all, I tried to resume some problems that could happen
    - If I publish a project on a
    free platform, soundclouds for example. Should I have to ask to all the (real) contributors?
    - If I want to use a song (playing live, new recording) first created in ohmstudio with others: how should I do? should I have to register it to a copyrights association (France: SACEM, Switzerland: SUISA) and to list the other participants as co-authors?
    - If I play a song copyrighted by another artist, in ohmstudio. Should I have to ask permission, if it remains in ohmstudio? And if the record get out of ohmstudio (soundclouds, selling platform)?
    - I play in ohmstudio a song that I own copyrights. How should I do?

  • I think that's Andy's take on this is very healthy and reasonable - we don't see it otherwise (although we feel we're just spectator in this, as no Protools + dropbox company would be held responsible for a thievery made using there tools).

    Nick : I tend to agree on "Manager". But how would you call "Contributor" ? Leave it as it ?

  • @ Alexone 

    I am no lawyer but here a few considerations that cross my mind reading your questions :

    - "You can't make public something that was private and you can't make money on something you don't own" are probably the 2 legal bones you can't screw with. So if you're project has its mixdown already pushed in the Ohm Studio, anyone can transfert it to another common place (that's why we let you make "hidden" projects). 

    - I think Ohm Studio play no rule legally in your questions : you'll get each time the exact same answer that if you were replacing Ohm Studio by "physical Studio". OC in a physical studio ppl are more often professionnal, with public faces and reputation, and all of this build trust that everyone will behave - but fundamentally, the tool is just the tool here and all actions are the actor's responsability. So up to you to claim what's your right to do so, acknowledge other's right, solve conflicting POV between IP owners, etc.

  • Yes Red_force
    Manager replaces owner as title but contributor remains the same 

    In this thread
    the discussion is taken a bit further. But after reading this again I have edited it to the following ...

    Project-Observer = Can look at everything including plugins but can not touch anything.
    Project-Contributor = Can add and copy but only edit / delete own work with in project.Project-Producer = Can add, copy, edit and delete everything within project.
    Project-Manger = Can do Everything. ( I assume manager version history / locking of tracks etc in the future and of course exports etc etc.)  

    At least you can use PO / PC / PP / PM this way ( know how much you computer geeks love to use things Humans can't not understand )

  • A legitimate question along these lines. Websites like Bandmix provide places for people to insert sound samples so that others can hear a player before they contact them. Ok, so as a bass player, for example, it's not always (IMHO) "interesting" to hear a bass line on its own. Suppose you were to construct a bass line to someone else's song on ohm....could you then, if it's a public project, export the mixed tracks to use as an example on Bandmix to show your "work", as long as you tell people that the bass line, and ONLY the bass line is yours? Do you need permission from the original author of the posted track placed on Ohm? How does this work, if at all?

  • The tools used do not affect the copyright of the produced work.

    Copyright laws differ.  Some countries have the concept of "fair use", others do not.

    So answering a question like that is difficult.  If you use "backing" that is explicitly licensed for such purposes, you should be okay.  For example, there is a lot of Creative Commons content these days that just requires that you acknowledge your source (and possibly makes explicit the form of the acknowledgement required).  Alternatively, commercially acquired backing may not require any acknowledgement under the usage licence purchased.
  • I think that when we want to go further than just fun, it's complicated. Because if every time you want to do something with the song product, you must obtain permission from all contributors and owners...
    One directions where ohmstudio could help legal collaboration would be declaration of copyright status and tool to assign copyright. By default, the rule would be creative common copyright.

    I've understood that there is a mix of two things with the status of owner-contributor: practical production status (an example is the ownership of keys of the studio) and a fuzzy statement of copyright status.
    This second statement should be clearly separated from the first one. My idea is ohmstudio could have a field independant from owner-contribution field in which every entitled advise their real names and contact, report copyright status (lyric or music writer, producer, name of copyright association where the copyright is registered).  If these data are not entered, there should be a legal warning that gives the general legal framework and list all contributors.

    To explain things differently. There are song where I contributed but I don't care, I would gladly yield my eventual legal rights. I would be very happy if this is used even in commercial purpose. I have some pieces which I am officially registered (suisa). For now it is private and I am the only owner.
    It would be nice to inform those who listened in the showroom or owners and contributors who would use the songs further.

    Sorry for my bad english

  • Hello, I back this topic.

    At the time I wrote the first message, I put the legal dimension with the collaborative dimension together. I always think there are two linked aspects. Today, I ask myself these questions again.

    Since the disc industry goes wrong and the productions in ohmstudio are modest, there are more ethical than legal and financial issues.

    Ohmstudio should promote collaborative projects that are more than just fun between musicians. And even for fun, activity of musicians should be valued. Nowadays, people do not feel normal to pay for music (and indeed, just go on youtube). The concert organizers do not feel normal to pay for musicians (unless it is the Rolling Stones). I think that's not normal. I think ohmstudio should have a strict policy of copyright. This would value the musicians. This would encourage them to come. And this would be ethically (legally?) correct.

    So for you do not read everything, here are the practical issues:

    - A reluctance to cooperate may come from the fear of being robbed of his rights, or someone
    took advantage of his work (two professional musicians told me that to acount not to come in ohmstudio).
    - How to reuse collective productions made in ohmstudio? Before a concert in
    Switzerland and France, you have to fill a form with the list of songs and their authors. The project in ohmstudio should have indications of the authors (contact, or legal name and address).

    - Is it possible to record songs with copyright (mine or known artists)? do I keep it private and invisible ? Can I share the link? Can I put it visible on my showroom? where is the limit?

    .... and a lot of another questions ...
  • I really don't think it's even possible (let's not mention healthy) to tie in user rights on a project and copyright. Let's say someone steal a loop on Soundcloud from someone and start a project o, Ohm Studio with it, shall we pretends he has the copyright on it ? If not, how could we know ?

    In my view, Ohm Studio can't provide legal status, but it can provide the service that will help establishes the legality. It already provide some basic traceability: you know who brought up that part originally, and you know with the snapshots history when it happened. That's already something, especially as it's not something that can be hidden later. On the long run, we may give opportunity to see in advance if someone reused some of your content (mainly for the pleasure of seing ppl getting creative on your stuff, but also useful to prevent malicious theft). We may put UI element that would provide standardised agreement between collaborator, or statistic wheel about who did what in a track, etc if we feel it helps (which is not a given!...). But ultimately that's really not something you could manage by an algorithm. People have to find agreements, ultimately.