Sunday, December 8, 2013

Magix Music Maker - The EULA License Game

Just want to follow up on the entry level/basic version of Magix Music Maker Sountrack Edition. To recap, I purchased the software in order to create my own intros, video tunes and avoid the threat of DCMA and assorted attorneys trolling for dollars.

The software was on sale and it seem to be designed for novice users who wanted to craft their own tunes with the provided music tracks. As is my habit, I do read the End Users License Agreement (EULA) before installing software. That is when I had a WTF moment.

Yes, I could use the provided music tracks in videos. Provided those videos are non-commercial or the music is not used in a commercial (business, money generating) atmosphere.

Hold On - It Says You Can Use For Social Media Use

Yes, you can use the music in videos that appear on YouTube or an audio service like Soundcloud; so long as it is non-commercial. I understand that. But it is up to Magix to determine the use and the context of usage. If they feel you have violated the terms then you will have to deal with them or the attorneys. In Germany.

Technically, Magix did provide links on the web site, teeny tiny links, that spell out the End Users License Agreement.  And there are good people in the Magix multimedia community that are answering this question over and over.

I wish that Magix would put a link or some kind of notice on the sales page to alert potential users about the non-commercial use of this software.

If You Have Not Activated the Software:

Suppose you read the EULA and you decide that you want no part of the software. Stop, uninstall it and contact them within 14 days of purchase to get a refund.

Installation Caution:

If you are about to install the software, be careful. There is an installation window for a product called SimpleCheck

and Toolbar.

I can’t tell you want to do but if you ask me what I did I’d tell you I unchecked those suckers quick, fast and in a hurry.

If You Have Activated the Software:

If you activated (register) the software then you are out of luck on that refund action. All is not lost and you have options.

Magix will want you to register to become a member of the Magix community. This is the only way to get into the Knowledge Base and community assistance to find out what the heck is going on. Or you can keep reading this post.

After Installation Using the Software Only:

There are music loops which are snippets of notes or beats. There are full tracks called soundpools and these are the music elements that is provided with the software.

For a moment, think of the software as if it was a word processing program. You can enter your own music that you compose. You will have no problem so long as you do not use any musical elements provided by Magix.

You can import Creative Commons or Public Domain music (and you are 101% sure it is in the public domain) and use the software to remix and compose tunes. Again, if you don't use any of the provided music you will be fine.

Using the Provided Loops and Soundpools

Here is the thing. Music is rarely free when it comes in contact with a vendor or software provider. Magix has another site called Catooh; it is a music repository where people can buy music, sound effects and soundtracks. There is an artist community that sell their music creations.

Catooh/Magix provides a variety of music licenses depending on the users need. For entry level users that can abide by the non-commercial license you do not have to pay extra.

But if you have a commercial need for music then you can purchase a single track or an all inclusive license. So let's say that you buy an Audio Pro track for 79 cents. You would be good for 3 million web impressions per month or 1 million public presentations. Which is a heck of a lot of conferences or 1 million video viewers.

With the 99 cent track it is unlimited non-commercial use. And no, I see no reason to purchase an entire catalog of music.

So Is It Worth It?

Well, that depends. If you want to have a unique theme or you are creating a special video or series of videos then yes, plunking down 99 cents for an single tune that has an unlimited music license is not a bad deal.

I would not do it for sound effects but for a composition you want to touch up, why not.

That said, there is one more thing. You purchased the license for the music. You can do anything you want except anything that Catooh/Magix deems unlawful, illicit or is used to establish a business identity.

Other Options

You can download a software program like Audacity and then purchase tunes from Magix, Sony or dozens of other music repositories.

You also have the option of diving into the Internet Archive to find music placed in the public domain by musicians. It is a slog but it can be done.

Other Posts of Interest

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