Audio Importer Rules Q&A

Got questions about the audio importer rules? This is the place for answers.

Why can't I use samples from a sound library (which I bought and own)?#

You should review the licence terms of your library, but generally the company that made the sound library will allow you to combine their sounds with other material to make finished sound for all sorts of media, but will not allow you to make sound libraries yourself. Most libraries have clauses in their end-user license agreements that explicitly forbid you from doing this. In Dreams you can make original sounds and release them for other Dreams users to use. This means that you cannot use sound libraries which have these clauses in their end-user licence agreements.

Why can't I use sounds from a soft synth (which I own)?#

You should review the licence terms of your soft synth, but generally the companies that sell these will allow you to make songs/pieces with it, but will not allow you to create other instruments. Most software instruments have clauses in their end-user license agreements that explicitly forbid you from doing this. In Dreams you can make new instruments and release them for other Dreams users to use. This means that you cannot use soft synths that have these clauses in their end-user licence agreements. Hardware instruments - including synthesizers - do not have licence agreements, so you are free to record them, and use those recordings to make instruments in Dreams.

Why can’t I use samples from another music source?#

This is already well-documented in all sorts of media stories. If you sample a bit of someone else’s music for your own work or to be used/remixed in another user’s content in Dreams, you will likely need express legal clearance (of various different kinds) for such use, and if you don’t have it you might get sued for copyright infringement. It’s also worth considering that getting clearance is a long, arduous and expensive process. In short, sampling music is legally fraught and not always respectful of original creators, so it’s not something you should do in Dreams.

Why can't I use Creative Commons-released music or sounds?#

Creative Commons generally allows people to release works in a copyright framework that balances the usual copyright constraints with a free license for others to use, adjust and redistribute work. In the spirit of collaboration and giving to a coMmunity, artists can choose to allow others to remix, reuse and reinterpret their work. This is similar to allowing Dreamers to remix in the Dreams coMmunity. However, there are various different types of Creative Commons license, some with more restrictions on the end-user than others (e.g. you may not be able to create derivative works). Furthermore, all of them ask that the originator of the work is credited for their work, keep copyright notices intact on all copies of the work, and link to the licence from copies of the work. Since we are unable to guarantee this will happen, nor verify if it has happened in the case of audio imports, importing audio released under Creative Commons is not permitted.

What if I've paid someone to make music for me?#

This will depend entirely upon the terms of the agreement with the person who created the music, and whether that person has assigned all the rights to you in the created music; or whether they are only licensing to you the rights to use the music. If licensing, there may be terms which include certain permissions and/or restrictions around how you can use the created music and what for. Unless you are the legal and beneficial owner of all rights in the created music, you should not include third-party created music in Dreams.

Can I use this thing I made in digital audio workstations (e.g. GarageBand®)?#

GarageBand® and similar audio workstations contain a lot of soft synth and sample-based instruments. The license agreement for these forbids creating other instruments, so you cannot use those in Dreams (see above). You may be able to use GarageBand® to create your own original music compositions or original audio for use within Dreams. However, individual audio loops can’t be distributed (commercially or otherwise) on a standalone basis. They also can’t be repackaged (in whole or in part) as audio samples, sound effects or music beds. If you’re using an audio workstation (e.g. GarageBand®), you should always check its licence terms to see where and how you can use your creations (original music compositions or original audio), as there may be limitations on use which would affect your use of them within Dreams.

Can I record the engine noise of my car and upload that?#

Please be aware that some vehicle engine sounds can qualify for copyright protection. We can’t possibly find and detail all of these for you, so we would encourage you to be well aware of the possibility of copyright infringement.

Popular songs all have owners, who own the rights to the music and lyrics. This is separate to the recording of the song. These rights are licensed to specific users for specific things e.g. making a cover version of What’s New Pussycat for a cat garment advertisement. To use a song like this you need permission from the owner of the original, which comes at a cost. That permission will be for a specific use case. Dreams is a platform that allows you to share the music freely, so you would need to negotiate a license that permits this free sharing. This would likely be either costly or not something the owner would permit at all.

Why can’t I import whole tracks I made myself?#

As long as every single bit of it is yours and original, you can, but the audio engine doesn't like long files. Use at your own risk. It's not what we made Dreams for - the point of the importer is to enable creation in Dreams, not outside it.

The Dreams User Guide is a work-in-progress. Keep an eye out for updates as we add more learning resources and articles over time.