Wrong usage of license?

Long story short: someone may have bought a license from envato and made a guided meditation product - basically it’s my track with a voiceover. Does the license allow to publish this product on streaming platforms (spotify, apple music etc)?
I’m familiar with envato license terms and conditions but I didn’t find a definite answer on this particullar case.

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It’s my understanding that as long as no fee is being charged for the product, and it’s not made available for download, what you describe is a permitted use.

This is exactly what’s not really clear in the license terms. People pay a fee to listen to the track, it’s not really free. The terms say as an example that “you can make a cd and give it to your spa customers”. But here in this case someone else is credited for my music just by adding a voiceover, practically it is not part of something bigger. If it was a meditation video on youtube this would be ok but this person gets remunerated for my music and gets all the credits - a shazam or a google audio search brings out this instead of my actual track (which is also distributed on these streaming platforms)

The use is ok with terms, is just like a podcast upload it to streaming platforms… But, they can’t claim copyright on the music, so they need to declare to their music distributor that the music was licensed and give your composer details. (Artist name, PRO, Publisher, IPI Number, etc), In that way you can receive some stream royalties via your PRO or Publisher. (assuming you have a Pro or Publisher).

The sad history is that usually the clients not report that the music is licensed, or the music distributor not have the option to do it in the upload process.

Hey @E-soundtrax ! Thanks for the answer, it makes sense if they’d published as a podcast or something else but because they distributed their meditations as music under their own name, I have takedown requests in process. I’ll see how that goes and I’ll post here if anyone is interested in the outcome.

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‘Just by adding a voice over’ is specifically mentioned in the license FAQs as something that would be required to make it larger in scope than the music itself…

Can I use music in an audio-only end product such as a podcast, audiobook, or guided meditation?

Yes, as long as the audio-only end product is larger in scope and different in nature than the music itself. As a rule of thumb, the music alone must not comprise the primary value of the end product, and should have speech overlayed and interspersed throughout. You can never distribute the music track as-is or with superficial modifications.

It also states that the track can be used in free or commercial projects that end users are charged for, and there is no need to credit the author. If the meditations can be downloaded then there’s a 10K limit with the standard license.

So it sounds like you’re not as familiar with Envato licenses as you think you are, and while I can’t give a definitive answer to you for a number of reasons (you’d need to contact support for that), I do think you’re 100% in the wrong to send a takedown request.

Thanks for your response, right on point. The problem is that they distributed this guided meditations as music under their own name. Like I’ve said before, a youtube video would be ok, a meditation product on their site for their clients to download would also be ok but releasing music as their own is sure to be in the wrong.

yes but:

Can I use an AJ track in a stand-alone music track? What about sound effects?

You may not use music in stand-alone music tracks, but you could use sound effects in a music track.

Example: You can’t add lyrics to an audio track and sell it on iTunes

By distributing the end product as a music track, they are essentially turning their voice-over into lyrics. Which is of course prohibited by the terms. So, no @MARiAN is definitely not 100% in the wrong for sending a take-down request. Not doing so may lead to countless complications regarding ownership and ContentID.

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Exactly my thoughts on this! Thanks for your input @PurpleFog

Releasing a licensed music track in the form of a Podcast is allowed.
Releasing a licensed music track in the form of a music album is not allowed.

If I understand correctly they have not released it as a podcast but as a standard music release, which is the same as adding vocals to an instrumental and releasing it on Spotify/Apple Music (not allowed by the license terms).

Edit: I missed PurpleFog reply before mine

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Yes, it is a music release available on all major streaming platforms. Thanks @lucafrancini for your response

So yes, they were in the wrong, they released these meditations as music of their own, pointing out exactly that paragraph from the terms, ultimately admitting that they misinterpreted it.
So as a piece of advice for all music authors here: take the time and search your music, shazam it, search it with google assistant, register with content id, take all the measures to protect your works because there are people out there who will wrongly use the license, use your music as their own, steal it, publish it etc. Unfortunately I’m dealing with these situations way too often.


Yes, they were definitely wrong!

But Envato should make it VERY clear that distribution on Spotify etc. is NOT the same as posting TikTok or YouTube videos.

If you distribute the tracks they get new ISRC codes etc., and as you say, Shazams lead to the newest release. It’s a big, big mess.

This has also happened to me, but they didn’t bother adding any voice-over. Just released the tracks as their own, with THEM as composers, etc.

And yes, Shazam now lead to THEM instead of the actual track that was released by me. Tens of thousands of streams too…

That was of course more of a clear violation, but you can’t sing, talk, or do anything, essentially using our music as backing tracks.

It should be written out VERY clearly in the terms. No Spotify. No Apple Music. Like that.

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