[PlanetCCRMA] Fwd: [music-dsp] Official posistion of Roland Corp. about Copyrights.

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell@gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 07:23:00 2006

More reason why free software for making music is so very important...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: nikko@nikkoid.com <nikko@nikkoid.com>
Date: Feb 15, 2006 5:01 AM
Subject: [music-dsp] Official posistion of Roland Corp. about Copyrights.
To: music-dsp <music-dsp@ceait.calarts.edu>


I've been in contact with the Roland's Corp lawyer and I've asked some
questions about :
- the use of sampling made from Roland synths
- the use of picture of Roland synth (when doing a 'clone')
- the fact that some Roland synth are +30 years old and so are
supposed to be in public domain.
- the use of Roland Band to advertise a clone (TB-303, TR-808, SH-101 etc)
- the use of the name of the synth in a virtual clone.

This is Roland position, the laws are different in every country, but
the Roland position is very strict. Also the response is very clear.
Anyone who plan to release a Roland clone should read this...

Roland response :

"I am writing to you in order to respond to the questions you
presented to us last week. First, copying Roland's sounds constitutes
copyright infringement regardless of the process for copying the
sounds. It therefore makes no difference that DREAM ripped Roland's
ROMs, while you are recording the sounds manually with a microphone;
both actions constitute copyright infringement. It also does not
matter that you copy Roland's sounds and put them into a "virtual
sampler" which is a different format than the original. Regardless of
how you might subsequently process or present the sounds, copying
Roland's sounds for use in any competing product infringes Roland's
copyrights. Finally, Roland infringes no copyrights when it samples
acoustic instruments for playback in its products, because acoustic
instruments enjoy no copyright protection in the sounds they produce.
Copyright protection is only afforded once the sound is captured in a
"tangible medium of expression," for example, a recording of an
acoustic instrument captured into a .wav file. So your assertion that
Roland would be liable for copyright infringement if you are liable to
Roland, is entirely incorrect and without basis in law.

Second, you may not use Roland's trademarks or trade dress in your
products or in conjunction with the sale of your products. The
distinctive look of Roland's famous products are protected under
trademark law as "trade dress." This includes a photograph or other
image or likeness of the Roland SH-09. Therefore, your use of the name
SH-09 and images of the SH-09 constitute trademark infringement, as
well as unfair competition.

I hope this answers all your questions. Once again, Roland very much
appreciates your willingness to cooperate in the protection of
Roland's intellectual property. Only by protecting its intellectual
property will Roland be in a position to continue to design and
manufacture its innovative products for many generation to come.

Best wishes,

Greg Gabriel"

Also another exerpt :

Here is another extract of the conversation I got :

"It is not a violation of Roland's copyrights to play a Roland
instrument in a musical recording and sell the music created.  Roland
grants the users of its products an implied license to use its sounds
in such a manner.  However, using Roland's copyrighted sounds in
competing products is a direct infringement of Roland's copyrights.
This applies even if you are "creating programs" which alter the
original sounds, because these "programs" would constitute derivative
works which would also infringe Roland's copyrights.  Finally, using
Roland's trademarks, including the look of its products, in
conjunction with any product or service without Roland's authorization
is a violation of trademark law.  Therefore, using the brand name
"Roland," or the names or images of any Roland product in conjunction
with the sale of your products is prohibited.  I hope this answers
your questions.

Best wishes,

Greg Gabriel"

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