Home »Knowledge base»Use of tracks in a scenario which is not covered by the license - how to go about

Use of tracks in a scenario which is not covered by the license - how to go about

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Using wikiloops music outside of private-use and outside of wikiloops

This article expects you to have read the wikiloops public license, and either noticed that your intended use-case is not explicitly mentioned in the license text or feel unsure wether your idea of "private use" is identical to the legal definition that applies.

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This article is a guide, not a legally binding agreement or offer

Please be aware that the information presented on this page is offering a mix of binding legal information and "common practise" examples which are offered to give the reader an idea how we are handling different usecases.
The information presented here does in no way change the content or scope of the wikiloops public license, which remains the only legally binding document regulating the use of tracks shared under the terms of this license.

Typical and common use-cases which are not explicitly covered by the wikiloops public license

By limiting the allowed use to what can be summed up as "private use + re-publishing on wikiloops are allowed", quite a lot of use-cases are left uncovered, and that needs to be interpreted as "if it is not explicitly allowed, then it is not allowed."

When checking below short list of examples,
please keep in mind that "not covered by the public license" does not necessarily mean "can not be used in such a context", but may require getting the authors consent outside of the "public license"-agreement as we will explain further down this page.

Using the music as part of a video which you plan to upload to a publicly accessible online platform like YouTube or Vimeo
is not explicitly allowed, and does not fall into private use.

Broadcasting the music in any sort of terrestrial radio, web-radio or podcast
is not covered by "private use" either.

Using the music as background music in a public place like bars, clubs, restaurants
is not covered by "private use".

Using the music in an context that is directly related to earning money
is explicitly prohibited by the "no commercial use"-clause, which does not only exclude use options in company commercials and sales-related media, but also leaves paid music teachers un-covered when using wikiloops tracks in their classes.

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Getting your intended use-case properly licensed

Setting up individual license agreements to grant the desired use-rights is possible in two ways which we will introduce here, and we will also mention the "common practise" that has been established during the past years of operating wikiloops.

The first option how to get your use-case "cleared" is to contact all musicians who are involved in the making of the track you would like to use via wikiloops private message.
If all parties give you written consent for your use-case, and if the granted use-rights do not interfere with rights already granted to wikiloops (most importantly, users can not set up agreements that suggest wikiloops can no longer stream and offer the track), you are good to go.
Depending on the number of tracks you would like to use, this "individual contact" procedure may be more or less effort.
You will also have to accept that some users may not respond to such requests, leaving you without the needed unanimous consent of all co-authors.

The second option of how to go about is to get in touch with the wikiloops administration, which is entitled to grant use permissions on behalf of the involved users if the requested use scenario fits certain criteria (see paragraph "Requesting use permissions via wikiloops" below).

While the two options named so far are the only way to get written permission for re-use, there is a "common practise" explained in the following paragraph, which has established itself, and which you might find reasonable to follow, even tho it does not provide a legally 100% safe "paperwork-settled" situation.

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Common practise for non-commercial usage

Legal regulations tend to be lengthy and complicated, and to get even lengthier and more complicated once they are trying to cover all possible eventualities, exceptions and edge cases.
Humans however tend to be rather pragmatic and to put any regulations to a "reality check" until a "common practise" is established, which may or may not match the legal regulations.
Highway speed limits and the resulting driver behaviour are a great example of this reality check, and the obedience to legal regulations generally seems to correlate with how the questions "Can I get away with breaking this rule?" and "Do I understand why this rule makes sense here?" are answered.

In the following we will give some examples of usage to give you a idea about the "common practise" situation:

Things you will probably "get away with"
If your use of a wikiloops track leaves no doubt that you are willing to give the due credit to the authors and to wikiloops for having supplied the music, then your chances of never being asked about your use-rights are quite high.
wikiloops users love to get heard, and as long as you are not claiming to be the author of their music and sacking credit (and possibly even cash) without passing them their due share, the "common practise" is to tolerate use-cases like using tracks in private video productions that are shared via YouTube or Vimeo or using track on private homepages (no webshops!).
To meet the "tolerable" criteria, any online use of wikiloops tracks should at least include a click-able link to the original track on wikiloops and mention the musicians wikiloops user-names.



Things you should not expect to "get away with"
Expect no mercy if you cross any of the following lines:
- your use of the track must be available to the public for free, and you may not ask for donations for having provided the track to anyone
- wikiloops and the music creators must be properly mentioned in the direct context
- you may not use the tracks in any projects which you aim to get paid for, with the single exception of music educators
- use cases involving political or religious statements may be intolerable to the music creators and/or wikiloops, so do seek explicit consent for such use cases.


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Requesting use permissions via wikiloops

If you are operating some kind of non-profit or low-budget broadcasting service,
would like to create a feature or documentation on wikiloops itself or are creating ongoing free video lessons using wikiloops music on a regular basis,
your chances of getting use-permissions for free are quite good - if your intended use is likely to expose wikiloops to a wider audience and gives the due credit to our artists we will find a solution.

When requesting use permissions via the contact page, please describe your intended use-case as precisely as possible and include:
- a list of tracks (please provide the wikiloops track IDs) you would like to use
- a time frame/repeated use statement (p.e. "one time broadcast" or "permanently available videos on Vimeo")
- if applicable, the online domains or real-world locations you want to use the content on
- your full name, street adress, country and an email we can get back to.

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