LEGAL - Licensing/Protection FAQs
What's the principle of the standard license agreement?
• Single user music production/performance = Allowed
• Multiple users = Not Allowed
• Non-music use = Not Allowed
Any uses that are not allowed need additional permission or a special license from Spectrasonics.
Are there any legal limitations to how I can use Omnisphere?
The main limitation is that you are not allowed to use it to make a sample library or another kind of sample-based product. You are also restricted from giving away or posting online any loops or samples created using Omnisphere. However, you are able to use Omnisphere in all musical recording applications without paying any additional licenses.
Does Omniphere use copy protection?
Yes, we have our own system. Once you’ve installed and opened the plug-in, you’ll have 4 day grace period to use the product without authorization in demo mode. To continue using the instrument on that computer, you’ll need to authorize the plug-in on our web site. It's fast and easy, and you'll get your Response code for your computer immediately. You don't have to use your music computer to do the web authorization.
What type of Copy Protection method does Omnisphere use?
All Spectrasonics products use a custom developed Challenge/ Response system. This system allows you to install and authorize 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With our system, you aren't limiting to using it on one computer. Our system is more flexible than dongle-based ones, because it's: Single User/Multiple Computer
Does Omnisphere use a dongle?
How many computers can I install it on?
Since all Spectrasonics instruments have a Single User/ Multiple Computer license, this means you can install and use Omnisphere on as many computers that you own and will be using yourself.
What if I need more than one install for laptop use, if my hard drive crashes or if I get a new computer?
Not a problem...our web site is available around the clock to handle these situations immediately. It's very easy to do it online and you’ll always be able to get the authorizations that you need for your computers from Spectrasonics.
Can I use my Spectrasonics Instruments on more than one computer at a time?
Yes. This is no problem as long as it's for a single user.
I’m concerned about what would happen to my Spectrasonics instruments if the company were to go out of business...would I be still be able to authorize them?
Absolutely! At Spectrasonics, we believe it is essential to guarantee to our users the ability to get lifetime authorizations for the Spectrasonics instruments they purchased. In the unlikely event that the company were to go out of business, we would provide the ability for all registered users to get continued authorizations. In fact, we already have a system in place for this contingency. However, the good news is that this event is highly unlikely...we plan to be around for many years!
Do I have to credit Spectrasonics if I use Omnisphere?
No, it isn't mandatory for our instruments...but we certainly would appreciate it!
Do I need to obtain a special license to use Omnisphere on a commercial project?
No, the lifetime license fee to use the samples is covered in the purchase price of the instrument. You can use it on as many of your own projects as you like and we hope that you make some hits with it!
Can I use Omnisphere on Music Libraries?
Yes, this is fine. Some companies completely restrict this kind of use altogether - since music libraries can sometimes cross over into the soundware business, but Spectrasonics allows music library use. In fact, we have many customers that use our products in standard music libraries. Specific limitations about music library collection usage of include the following:
• The music in the library must be in a mixed format. You cannot provide separate tracks in your music library if you want to use our products with our standard license.
• The intended audience for your music library collection must be to non-musicians.
Can I use Omnisphere in Film Trailers?
Yes, this type of use is fine. Some companies restrict this kind of use, but Spectrasonics allows it.
Can I use Omnisphere in multimedia/game music projects?
Yes, this is OK unless you want to put samples created with Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments directly encoded into the game. That requires a special license. Remember, music use is allowed, but non-music use (example: SFX) is not permitted without a special license for this type of use. Please contact Spectrasonics if you wish to encode the samples into a game system.
Can I distribute the music I’ve created with Spectrasonics products in a “multitrack” format?
One of the only things that is NOT allowed is distributing your music in a multitrack format that completely exposes tracks created using our samples.
The problem in this case is that the separate tracks can then easily be reused in new works by the end user of the music - who is not a licensed Spectrasonics user. This use then turns into a type of redistribution of our copyrighted samples as a “derivative work”, which is not allowed without special permission or a special license from Spectrasonics.
NOTE: “Multi-channel” mixed music is not a problem (5.1, 7.1 mixes, etc.).
What if the Spectrasonics elements in my music are exposed for a period of time?
We aren’t concerned about normal music use, where the music is presented in the standard “mixed” format. Of course our sounds may sometimes appear in exposed passages like intros and breaks within a song’s mix and this is considered normal usage.
Can I use Spectrasonics Instruments or libraries to create loops or samples for distribution if I'm layering them with other sounds or doing a lot of creative processing?
No. At least not without getting special permission or an additional license from Spectrasonics. Legally, this is considered a "derivative work" when our copyrighted sound recordings are involved in the creation of new samples or loops.
What if it's just for my own use and I don't distribute the samples I've created?
If you're a licensed user, you are welcome to use your Spectrasonics instruments and libraries to create new audio samples and loops for your own use. The important thing is not to distribute them.
I work at a production music studio with several other composers/producers. Can we all use Omnisphere from our main server?
No. It's very important that each composer must have his or her own copy and license for Omnisphere. We make regular checks to verify that large production studios have obtained the proper licenses for our instruments and sample libraries.
As a studio owner, can I include Omnisphere on a rental or studio computer for clients to use on their projects?
No. The standard license to use Omnisphere is only granted to the buyer. We have a "single user/multiple computer" lifetime license policy. If it is your own recording project that you are producing, of course that isn't a problem...but your studio clients aren't licensed to use it for their own projects, and Omnisphere use can't be "rented". Multiple license packages are available by contacting your Spectrasonics distributor. If you have questions regarding multi-license packages contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Does this mean that I can’t use Omnisphere when working on someone else’s project?
This type of use is very standard and not a problem at all. The "single user" is defined as the person who is licensed to use the software instrument. This means that the licensed user can use it on an unlimited number of musical projects they are involved in. This can be a person’s own project, a project where they are acting as a producer or engineer for another artist, as a session musician performing on someone else’s project live or in the studio, etc. The main point of our license agreement is the concept of a single licensed user. If a licensed Omnisphere user is not musically involved in a project, that is where there is a restriction - hence the inability to simply rent the instrument or rent "time" to use the instrument as part of a studio’s services. Most of our customers use their Spectrasonics instruments on many different kinds of musical projects for different artists and collaborations.
Can my writing partner use a copy of my instrument on their computer?
No...the license to use Omnisphere is on a per-person (single user) basis. They would need their own copy of Omnisphere to use it on their computer.
Can I install my Omnisphere on a client’s computer for their use?
Not unless they are a licensed user. They will need their own serial number and registration to be licensed to use the instrument.
I’ve never heard of these kinds of licensing restrictions before. This seems unusual and totally different from using hardware sound modules. Why does Spectrasonics have such an unusual policy?
It’s not actually unusual at all or even unique to Spectrasonics. In fact, this is the identical type of license agreement used by thousands of media libraries, virtually all sample-based virtual instruments and the vast majority of music software. Single user license agreements do have different restrictions compared to using hardware devices, and many people are not aware of these types of differences and restrictions. Part of the purpose of this FAQ section is to serve as a clear explanation of our policies. In this case, these types of "single user" license restrictions are standard for nearly all software/soundware companies, not only Spectrasonics.
Can I resell Omnisphere used to someone else?
Not without obtaining a license transfer from Spectrasonics. The sounds and software are licensed and registered ONLY to you. You cannot automatically transfer the license to someone else, and therefore you cannot simply sell it used. If you do attempt to sell it used without obtaining a license transfer, the buyer will not be able to use the product because it is registered and licensed to you. The Omnisphere license is the right given to a single person to use the instrument. When you purchase the product, you are primarily purchasing the lifetime right to use the product and the sounds it contains in your own music projects. Also, if you sell any of your computers that have a Spectrasonics instruments installed on them, you are required to delete them first from the hard drive.
How would I obtain a license transfer and how much does it cost?
The vast majority of sample libraries and sample-based virtual instruments on the market do not allow license transfers of any kind. However, at Spectrasonics we realize that there are certain circumstances where it can be a legitimate transaction. Because circumstances can vary so much, we only grant license transfers on a case-by-case basis.
Depending on the circumstances, when a license transfer is granted, there is often an additional fee involved that covers the transfer of all the rights to the new user to use the core library sounds, to receive full tech support and continuing support update rights, issuing a new serial number and account, etc. License transferred versions of this software do not have the same upgrade “special pricing” privileges as standard new units purchased at an authorized Spectrasonics dealer. If you have more questions about obtaining license transfers, how much it costs and what the limitations are of license transferred versions, please contact us directly at email@example.com
Do license transferred (used) versions get access to software updates and upgrades?
Yes, but not necessarily the same special “upgrade” pricing offers.
Can a license transferred (used) version be resold and transferred again?
No. This can only be done once by the original purchaser.
What are the privileges of a Licensed User that purchased Omnisphere from an authorized Spectrasonics dealer?
• Lifetime, unlimited use of the purchased version of the instrument and the sounds it contains to use for music projects.
• Free phone, email and online Technical Support
• Free software maintenance updates
• Special upgrade pricing on major new versions
Am I allowed to distribute samples I've made of any of Omnisphere's Factory sound libraries?
No. The factory core sound libraries of Omnisphere are copyrighted and may not be distributed. This includes all types of distribution - the use in other sample libraries, sound FX libraries or sample-based hardware or software products is specifically prohibited.
What if I extensively modify the Omnisphere factory sounds?
All modification, layering and tweaking is still legally considered a "derivative work" based on copyrighted recordings, so any type of re-use sample distribution like this would require specific clearance in advance.
Does this mean that I'm not allowed to distribute my own original Omnisphere patches or multis?
That's not a problem. Any type of distribution of user Omnisphere patches and multis (.prt &.mlt files) is not only allowed, it's encouraged! :-)
Am I allowed to distribute samples of my own original Omnisphere patches?
Your own original Omnisphere patches are very likely to be based on our copyrighted material, so the answer would be NO in those cases. Contact us if you have questions.
Can I sample Omnisphere for my own private use?
Of course. Every licensed user is free to use Omnisphere's sounds in any way within the production of their music that works for them creatively...including making their own custom samples with the instrument. Those custom samples only become a legal issue when they go beyond the private musical use of the individual user (i.e. distribution).
Am I permitted to distribute my Omnisphere samples if it's non-commercial?
No. There's no distinction between commercial or non-commercial distribution. Posting/sharing original samples of Omnisphere presents the same legal issues as commercial distribution.
But if Spectrasonics sampled other manufacturers' instruments to make Omnisphere, then why can't I use Omnisphere for my sampling project? This seems inconsistent.
For Omnisphere's core library, Spectrasonics researched and obtained all necessary legal clearance to use all the original samples we created that incorporate other manufacturers' instruments.
Please contact Spectrasonics directly if you have any questions regarding sampling Omnisphere®: firstname.lastname@example.org