What kind of license do final cut pro sound effects have?

Can I put them into nonmovies?

For example, can I use them in a Flash game?


If I'm distributing my own video editor, can I include these sound effects?


There is language saying you can't resell the sounds, but you are granted license to use them royalty free for some very specific uses and not at all in broad general terms.

I am not a lawyer

See the section below from the license for the last version / now discontinued Final Cut Studio

c) Soundtrack Pro. You may use the Apple and third party audio file content (including, but not limited to, the built-in sound files, samples and impulse responses) (collectively the “Audio Content”), contained in or otherwise included with the Apple Software, on a royalty-free basis, to create your own original soundtracks for your film, video and audio projects. You may broadcast and/or distribute your own soundtracks that were created using the Audio Content, however, individual audio files may not be commercially or otherwise distributed on a standalone basis, nor may they be repackaged in whole or in part as audio samples, sound files or music beds.

Pretty much anything license related from Apple gets placed here fairly quickly after launch (FCP X cough, cough)

A lawyer would be needed to tell you if embedding them in a flash game would fall under "film, video and audio projects". One would hope if your flash game embedded a movie sequence or soundtrack as part of the narrative, everyone here might call that as "in bounds" or "in the spirit".

Just taking the whole sounds (or even samples of those sounds in isolation and not mixed down) and using it for actions or events in a flash game seems to be more like repackaging as audio samples which seems clearly "out of bounds".

I would purchase a set of sounds that are expressly marketed as for use in software rather than something intended for original soundtracks unless my lawyer gave me the explicit go-ahead.

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    That is the answer. Awesome catch. +1 – Philip Regan Jul 15 '11 at 16:11
  • Erm, that license was from 5 years ago, and 4 editions of Final Cut Pro ago. Though it is very likely nothing has changed, you may want to consider looking at the most recent license. – Odinulf Jul 18 '11 at 20:15
  • It's actually the final cut SERVER 2 license dated 06/03/09 - my mistake in the link description. I'll edit the answer to clear that up. It is the most current license Apple have published. (and the only one you can actually see before buying) I haven't dropped the $ on X so I don't know if it's changed much. – bmike Jul 18 '11 at 20:58
  • Okay, that sounds like a decent explanation. – Odinulf Jul 18 '11 at 21:18

If I'm distributing my own video editor, can I include these sound effects?

Be very, very careful about this and consult a lawyer and the license itself before moving any further than just hypothetical. Typically "rights free" refers to only components in a collection, not the collection itself.

The sound effects may be rights-free, but only for use in your own projects like a Flash game or movie. The combination of sound effects in Apple's software package, however, isn't going to be rights-free and wholesale redistribution of those sound effects, of even a subset, will probably be a violation of Apple's copyright, especially when including them in a competing product. Apple does not take copyright infringement lightly.

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  • Kinda hoping I can ask the internet though ahaha – Harry Jul 15 '11 at 12:37
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    @Harry: Legal matters really need to be spoken about with a lawyer given the dire and very real consequences of getting something wrong. – Philip Regan Jul 15 '11 at 12:39
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    I would be even more conservative than Phillip here is - there is actually language saying you only get license to use them for a soundtrack where you presumably mix down the sounds and don't simply repackage or sample them. – bmike Jul 15 '11 at 16:08

All Final Cut sound effects are royalty free, you can use them however you wish. (as long as you legally obtained FCP)

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    Can you cite a source for this? – Nathan Greenstein Jun 27 '11 at 2:38
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    This seems a bit cavalier to me. -1 – bmike Jul 15 '11 at 16:09
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    This seems like very dangerous advice -1 – Ralph Shillington Jul 18 '11 at 14:04

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