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Can you sell project files?

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Can you sell project files?

Postby torninja » Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:13 pm

Hi SOS,

I am curious about the legal conditions around selling project files from DAWs, for example Cubase.

Can I commercially sell .cpr files (project save files) produced by a licensed version of Steinberg Cubase? Does anyone know about the legal conditions for this, or where to find them?

PS I have contacted Steinberg but they have not provided an answer..
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Re: Can you sell project files?

Postby BJG145 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:56 pm

Yep. Can't imagine why not. :thumbup:

Why take my word for it...? Well, you could always wait for a Steinberg rep. Pretty sure they'll come back with the same answer. (Obvs it might be another matter if the project contains copyrighted material in any form.)
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Re: Can you sell project files?

Postby desmond » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:03 pm

The files you make with an application are yours to do with as you will, as long as they don't contain other content that you don't own etc.
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Re: Can you sell project files?

Postby MOF » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:06 pm

I’m not quite sure what the question is, are you talking about song templates or your songs for other people to then work with?
Either way I can’t see a problem since you’re selling work done on licensed software, anyone buying your file has to own the DAW to run it. If you were selling a clone or reverse engineered DAW then you’d be in trouble.
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Re: Can you sell project files?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:19 pm

torninja wrote:Hi SOS,

I am curious about the legal conditions around selling project files from DAWs, for example Cubase.

Can I commercially sell .cpr files (project save files) produced by a licensed version of Steinberg Cubase? Does anyone know about the legal conditions for this, or where to find them?

PS I have contacted Steinberg but they have not provided an answer..

You can sell project files, but the content in those files must be yours, or use stock samples/loops etc. that come with Cubase are or otherwise cleared for resale.

In other words you cannot get around the copyright of a 3rd party just because their stuff is in Cubase project file format.

If the work is yours, and the person to whom you are selling the project file also owns a licensed copy of Cubase (and a license for any 3rd party samples if they are included) then there should be no problem.
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Re: Can you sell project files?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:27 pm

Assuming what you are selling is a multitrack recording project including all audio, midi and plug in content? Are you selling teaching materials? If not I'm curious as to what you are selling.
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Re: Can you sell project files?

Postby desmond » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:47 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Assuming what you are selling is a multitrack recording project including all audio, midi and plug in content? Are you are selling teaching materials? If not I'm curious as to what you are selling.

There is lots of content sold this way - usually in terms of "construction kits", basically whole songs assembled from various elements in certain genres - so you can buy a "Trance Construction Kit", and use the elements to construct material in that style, usually for people that don't have the skills to make their own songs in those genres yet, or people looking for ideas etc.

You can think of it as the audio/song equivalent of buying a website "theme" to get you started on your own site in that style.
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Re: Can you sell project files?

Postby torninja » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:37 pm

Thanks everyone for your fine responses. Everything people say here makes sense, so I'm a little more grounded on this issue now. For those who were curious; they are premixed sessions but with no content, aimed at metal guitarists who can record bass/guitar and program drums and make metal music without dependence on a band or recording studio.
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