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bit confused here, help me out would ya?

heysup. i'm a bit new to the whole "making public posts on LJ" thing so bear with me here. anyway, here's what i've got going on.

i was contacted via facebook by a gentleman by the name of Kyle Wiebe. he told me that he found some of the audio i had produced via Notessimo (which is just a flash knockoff of mario paint music really) interesting, and that he wanted me to produce the soundtrack for an RPG game he was making. he then proceeded to make a very very strong point about the fact that this is a no-profit project for him. he went as far as saying "this is costing me money to provide to others."  i figured it was fine, since i had just gotten a free 15 day trial of Mixcraft 5, so i decided to help this guy out of my own generocity.

so we agreed to it, and i asked him about what exactly he was looking for. he made a point to ask me if i had access to software other than notessimo, even though i made it clear that i did before i started work on it. he described the scenes i was writing for and i went ahead and got to work. when i finished one thing that i personally felt turned out well, he had quite a bit to complain about. i understood that he wanted everything to be just perfect, so i provided several altered versions of it. however, he still wasn't quite fond of it. so i told him i would come back to that piece and start on another one. unfortunately, he had a lot to complain about in that one too. so i moved on to another, and another as i had time.

after a while, he completely stopped contacting me. i didn't quite understand why, but i didn't make a huge deal about it. i figured he got busy, so i never bothered trying to contact him again. however, just a few days ago, i received a startling message from someone else i knew from the Notessimo website. reading exactly as this: " some guy on notessimo is contemplating putting some of your songs in some rpg game he made". i responded to this note describing the above situation in space detail, making sure to mention that it was made clear that neither myself or the other party would be turning a profit from this project.

the thing is, i'm not sure whether or not he was telling the truth about the whole "nonprofit" thing. the fact that he hasn't contacted me along with this message from a third party that i have received leads me to believe that he has already started taking audio i had produced prior to our agreement and has begun using it without my permission, which is NOT something he and i had agreed to. i feel that i have been wrongly treated in this whole situation and that all of the effort i have put into the pieces for this project has been completely wasted.

i haven't the slightest clue what to do at this point, so i'm going to ask you guys for advice? if it's of any use, i still have the unfinished pieces i had produced for this guy during the duration of this...event.
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( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 16th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
Did you make a contract? :
May. 16th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
naw, there wasn't really a contract involved. it was just a facebook-message-trust type of deal. so i'm going to assume there's not much i can do since that's the case aside from contacting this guy.
May. 17th, 2010 12:06 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure if he does try to use the (joint songs) in any sort of commercial venture you retain the right to yank the songs.
Any songs you made before contacting him are of course yours entirely.
There's "not much you can do" right now in the sense that you don't know what's going on, but if he does try to sell something, there's plenty you could do!
May. 16th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what kind of action you could take without being more sure of what exactly the current situation is, so I'm afraid I don't really have any useful advice to give you other than to contact him and try to get some answers...

But I do have something more relevant to say, and that's to never, ever, accept to work for free unless you positively, 100% trust the person you're doing work for. There are plenty of sly people who'll take your rough/unpolished/unfinished work, give it to someone else to wrap up and then claim it as their own. If someone you don't know is asking you to do work for them, it's at least pay or gtfo.
May. 16th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
(in other news, I really like the first track you posted.)
May. 16th, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
(lol thanks!)

yeah, this is a big "lesson learned" for me as far as doing free work. the guy seemed legit at first but i guess you can only trust people so much, sadly.

i'm gonna try and contact this guy, it seems like the only smart thing left to do here.
May. 16th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Without an explicit contract involved, this can get very hard to proceed with very fast.

Don't suppose you still have all the original messages sent back and forth between yourself and this guy? Posting them up might help a bit to get a feel of this guy you were doing work for.
May. 17th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
You offered to do the work for free. I'd keep an eye out for any production of the work he's talking about for sale, because if he charges money then you have reason to at least seek compensation (how successfully, I've no idea, depends on the magnitude of the production likely).

Until then... you're not out anything that you were expecting to get.
May. 17th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
second this.
(Deleted comment)
May. 17th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
I will let the OP answer in case I'm the mistaken one so take what I say with a grain of salt, but from what I gathered, the issue is that the music the guy is planning on using in the RPG are not the ones that were being worked on specifically for that project, but other songs that were made previously. Therefore, songs that are not part of the agreement.
May. 17th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
I suggest you try to contact this guy to find out the full story. If he complained about your music then blew you off, it's dodgy that he'd go ahead and use it anyway. The worst case scenario would be that he's sold your music on to a third party or something. Either way you need to know what's actually going on before any further action can be taken.
May. 20th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
Let's be fair, it's far more likely that he is simply your average guy and not very aware of copyright law or general practice when using the creative works of others (as the average person isn't very knowledgeable in this area and the OP does not seem especially knowledgeable in this area, there's no reason to think he would be).

OP, more than likely he wanted certain tweaks made to the tracks you gave him that are just too specific for him to easily communicate (especially if he lacks a musical background). He most likely took the tracks you provided him and tweaked them himself. He likely stopped talking because he got busy with something else or just figured he'd do better on his own now that he's got the backbone of the tracks. He probably figured that since you'd agreed to help him, he's in the clear to use them and probably doesn't even realize it's bad form (and possibly illegal) to use them without contacting you. A lot of people tend to overlook this sort of thing.

If he made it clear that it was a non-profit game, and at no point did you grant him something to the effect of unlimited rights to publish your songs (which is easier to do than it sounds (BTW, did you know that you granted media fire unlimited rights to publish your songs just by uploading to them? This stuff is complicated and you've always got to be careful)), he can't put them in a game he intends to sell.

Depending on your conversations with him, he may not have rights to use the songs. If you agreed to help him and sent him songs you expected him to use in his game if he found them acceptable, he's got the right to use them provided he doesn't sell the game after claiming he wouldn't see profit.

Modifying your songs is a bit of a gray area if you didn't expressly state that he wasn't allowed to. If you did, he can only use your songs as you provided them. If you didn't, it depends on his country but he's almost certainly legally permitted to modify your work or to contract another to modify your work.

If he changes your songs and uses another musician, that guy isn't allowed to keep your track or his modified one based on yours. He can't even use it to say "Hey, look at this song I made" unless you give him permission. The game creator has to give you credit, even if he has radically altered your tracks. You have the right to request that your name not be given direct credit if he has modified your work.

In the future, it's usually best to put in a little line along the lines of "I retain final approval of the use, distribution, or alteration of my creative works" into any negotiation, even if it's something you're providing for free. It's one little line and it gives you many more options when something doesn't work out quite right.
Jun. 28th, 2010 06:58 am (UTC)
Anything new on this?
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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