Transparent image for PV usage - What are the terms?

Hello again,

Hopefully that should not be a problem for me either, as all of my songs are originals, although I do not have 200 of them. :grinning:

I have emailed them, and so I will see what happens next.

Thanks again for you help.

Well it’s been a while since we touched base. Any luck?

Hi there,

First if all, please accept my apologies for not getting back to you sooner.

I have not been back on this forum until today.

In answer to your question - yes, I did manage to get into contact with Animen, but, to be honest, I was left more confused after speaking to them.

To summarize, I was given conflicting imformation about royalty percentages, sales amounts and permissions.

The same thing happened this week, when I asked if the licence terms are going to change when they eventually bring out Eleanor Forte Version 2.

One minute they said they would expect “several percent” for any sales over 1,000 USD, the next I could use the voice for free as long as I paid for the commercial voicebank, and did not use the Eleanor artwork.

So to conclude - yes I did manage to contact them with your help - thank you again.

But am I any closer to knowing the rules on using their voicebank? - unfortunately not.

I will try again if or when they bring out the update voicebank.

All the best to you.

I hope you album was successful.

Eleanor Forte has two voicebank versions, probably depending on which version you use.
As far as I know, the SynthV Editor version is commercially available, while the Lite version of SynthV Studio is not. It’s for sound.
If you use Eleanor Forte’s copyright image, additional authorization may be required, and you can contact Animen again.
(Translate with a translator)

Hi there,

Yes, I am currently using the Synth V Editor version.

But, the makers have given me conflicting information regarding licensing/payments about that, and the forthcoming Eleanor Forte version 2. :thinking:

Thanks!

1 Like

Hello, I emailed VOLOR to ask,
Their advice is that “before the second-generation official version of the voicebank is released,” no authorization is required to use the first-generation SV Editor voicebank sound works.
VOLOR officials are more encouraging the use of a second-generation SV Studio Lite version of the voicebank, which allows for a small commercial use until the official release.
So you can rest assured that you can use Eleanor voice created with SV Editor.
(Translate with a translator)

Email from VOLOR(Chinese Traditional):

您好
這裡是VOLOR
關於Eleanor Forte的第一代版本,官方的立場是「不鼓勵使用」,也沒有繼續進行授權發放與註冊;
使用這個聲庫與編輯器,「在Eleanor Forte的正式完整版推出前」,並不會要求使用者的額外授權。
第二代Eleanor Forte在Synthesizer V Studio中的Lite版本,在正式版推出之前也是開放個人小額商業使用的。
我們可以體會使用者急切地想看到正式版的心情,也非常謝謝各位的支持。
還請繼續多多指教。
VOLOR敬上

SV Studio - Eleanor Forte (Lite)【End-User License Agreement】
Article 2: User license
3.If the natural person users apply the synthesized voice generated by or role copyright image included in this product for commercial purpose, and the situation involves more than USD 1,000, Or if the user is Corporation or legal entity, the obligation to notify AnimenJP will occur. AnimenJP will sign additional User License Agreement with such users according to the users’ use purpose (licensing fees might be produced according to the agreement situations).

Thanks for the information.

I myself have been in touch with VOLOR on and off this year, and found it a largely confusing experience, as I was given conflicting information.

Maybe it was a language barrier problem, ot I just did not explain myself to them property.

I hope when Eleanor 2.0 does eventually get released, that the purchase price covers any licence needed to release our music commerically, as it does with another well known voice synth.

But, alas, from what they told me, that will not be the case. :roll_eyes:

1 Like

(I’m the original OP)

@ArkAngel @LinR_PN

Huh… from what I’m reading you guys are giving me the impression that as soon as the Gen2 bank releases we’ll have to buy another licence for the bank itself…

The entire thread was actually about the illustration images but it looks like I’ll have to register for permission again?!

Is there a discount available on the Gen2 bank for the people who bought the original SynthV?

If you don’t need an upgrade, the first-generation editor/voicebanks product (Synthesizer V Editor) you’ve purchased can be used all the time.

Based on my purchasing experience, I already have a first-generation product that offers discounts when upgrading to second-generation editor/voicebanks products (Synthesizer V Studio) and much cheaper to buy during the initial period.

But if you upgrade to a second-generation product, the first-generation product can’t continue to be used unless you don’t choose to upgrade and instead re-purchase a full license for the second-generation product so that you can use both the first-generation and second-generation products.

(Translate with a translator)

Still couldn’t catch that…

From what I understand: when Gen2 was initially released a discount was offered to people who own a licence of Gen1 so they can upgrade for a little less. However, upgrading means that you can no longer use Gen1 (licence no longer valid?) and so are left with only Gen2.
The way to have access to both Gen2 and Gen1 is to not opt for the discounted upgrade and instead pay in full for the Gen2 licence.

Hopefully I got that right.

Yea but that still doesn’t answer the question as to whether the transparent PV permits I got are still valid when the full version of Gen2 Eleanor releases, and whether the songs we previously made with Eleanor Lite are still good for commercial use when the new full version of Eleanor releases.

As long as your PV is made before the Eleanor Forte Gen 2 Full version released, it’s all right.

Commercial use prior to the release of the Eleanor Forte Gen 2 Full version:
Eleanor Forte Gen 2 (SynthV Studio) Lite version: Yes (Allowed temporarily)
Eleanor Forte Gen 1 (SynthV Editor) Voicebank: Yes (Not encouraged to use)

Commercial use after the release of the Eleanor Forte Gen 2 Full version:
Eleanor Forte Gen 2 (SynthV Studio) Full version: Yes
Eleanor Forte Gen 2 (SynthV Studio) Lite version: No
Eleanor Forte Gen 1 (SynthV Editor) Voicebank: No

In addition, these are for commercial use up to $1,000. Under the new user agreement for the Eleanor Forte Gen 2 version, commercial use of more than $1,000 must be authorized by contacting Animen.

(Translate with a translator)

image

My expectation of this is why I am holding off buying in until the new voices are released.

If you can’t use the existing images of the characters without permission, what about making new artwork featuring them? Or, just, making new characters, forget advertising the Synth V brand? :confused: Not very encouraging, IMO.

I was determined to buy Synthesizer Studio Pro as soon as the full version of Eleanor Forte’s voicebank is released, but after reading this thread I am getting more and more confused. I have not encountered such a form of software licensing anywhere. In the world I live in the norm is that if I buy a program, I can use it freely and no one cares whether I make money on it or not, or I have a choice of a home/discounted or commercial license, but I always know what the price is.

Meanwhile, in this case, it looks like VOLOR wants to collect some kind of royalty from every popular song featuring Eleanor Forte. Clever, but this is just a computer program - a tool, not a human. If I make a song in Live, will Ableton want to charge a royalty on that song? Of course not, no one would agree to that. If I buy a orchestral sound library for Kontakt and make music for a hit movie, will the producer of that library ask me for an additional fee? Also not! So why can’t I just buy a full Eleonor Forte license and just release songs with her without having to worry about anything else?

I am not even sure if something like this is legal at all. It certainly is not in Europe, where the law requires the customer to know the full price of the product before buying. Recently, a gigantic fine was even imposed on one of the large retail chains for similar practices against their suppliers who were not paid as much as agreed by forcing additional discounts.

It all makes me wonder if there is any point in using Eleanor Forte for anything but a hobby? But then the purchase does not make sense - the free version is enough for me.

In fact, The same is true of Vocaloid singers… Depending on the rules of the voicebank publishers, if the sound is used for commercial purposes, it is to contact the licensing authority.
(Translate with a translator)

Good to know that I won’t have to worry about holding off on the songs yet. That’s a relief.

@SarielV Honestly regarding the character illustrations, I think I already linked an address you can contact for your permissions to use them. Last I dealt with them they’re pretty lenient when it comes to bands and projects that don’t make a thousand or more. When you get yourself a bigger name made that’s when you need to worry a little more about fees for character illustrations. That said, yes, even my band and I have gone the route of just trying to come up with custom characters altogether.

@green This is a similar licence as to how it works with Reaper. Technically Reaper’s free licence never expires and you can use it all day, but you have to buy a licence if you want to use it for commercial purposes. With Reaper you have a $60 option which is for smaller projects and you have the bigger $200+ option for your full version. None of the three versions have any limitations within the DAW, it’s just what kind of things you have clearance for.

Also, this format isn’t anything new. Whenever you buy a virtual singer editor you unlock commercial use of the editor. Whenever you buy a bank you unlock the commercial use of the specific bank. It’s just that the bank in question isn’t being sold yet, so the commercial restrictions will be put in place when it releases (if it does). Also, chances of any western Voca-P making more than a 1,000 USD off of a song or album is… pretty much zero.

Also, they do tell you how much the price is, you just get the pricing at the AniCute site and you can choose which currency to calculate the pricing on just so you have a better understanding of how much is what.

1 Like

Reaper does not have a “free license”, it’s has a “discounted” and “commercial” license.

The terms of the Reaper license are entirely known: $65 for the discounted license, and $225 for the non-discounted license. The terms for being eligible for the discounted license are:

  • You are an individual, and REAPER is only for your personal use, or
  • You are an individual or business using REAPER commercially, and yearly gross revenue does not exceed USD $20,000, or
  • You are an educational or non-profit organization.

That’s it. You pay one flat cost for Reaper. There are no further fees. You can produce as many songs as you wish with Reaper, and pay no additional costs. There are no licensing costs that are incurred on a song-by-song basis for using Reaper - or any other popular DAW or VSTi that I’m aware of.

For the English Vocaloid voicebanks I’ve looked at, the licensing terms are roughly the same as using the sound of any other VSTi - unlimited, with no additional licensing when creating compositions.

For example, here’s the clause from Dex’s license:

  1. The Licensee may modify the sounds. and MAY USE THE SOUNDS FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES WITHIN MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS, subject to section 7 below. 4.

Based on the Google translation of the Japanese license, it looks like licensing is only mandatory if the Eleanor Forte image is also being used.

But, I don’t know that for sure.

Which is… well, bad. Because licenses should be clear on their terms.

If licensing is required just for the use of the voice, I would be extremely hesitant to use Eleanor Forte in a commercial context, as the terms of the license are left entirely undefined.

Even the given terms in the license are vague. For example, Reaper states:

  • Yearly gross revenue does not exceed USD $20,000

Compare that with the Eleanor Forte license:

  • The situation involves more than USD 1000

From a legal perspective, what does “the situation” mean? Are we talking about the cost to produce a song using Eleanor Forte, or net profits? Based on what estimate? What happens if in a couple of years, the net profits exceed 1000 USD? Will any licensing costs extend retroactively?

Even the amount 1000 USD isn’t well defined. Since the contract says the Japanese version has precedence, the actual amount is 100,000 Yen, not 1000 USD.

So how much will it cost to license Eleanor Forte commercially? That’s nowhere in the license, and appears to be left entirely up to Animen, the creator of the voicebank, to name their own terms.

I’m not accusing Animen of being evil or bad or underhanded here.

I’m just saying that from a commercial perspective, you want to know the full costs before even contemplating using Eleanor Forte. And that information isn’t published anywhere. From the license, you need to contact Animen. And only at that point, after you’ve told them how you’ll be using the voice, will they tell you what the licensing is going to look like.

That kind of risk - based on not having a full understanding of potential costs - will drive people away from making commercial use of the voicebank.

It even makes me, a completely non-professional, a bit leery about suggesting other people use SynthV. :cry:

Now, when contracting “real” voice talent, there’s usually a flat rate for commercial work. However, most singers specify that their names cannot be used with the final product.

Percentages typically only come into play at the point that a singer is identified with the song.

And that makes sense, as you’re not just using the singer’s voice, but their identity.

From that perspective, it makes sense that a licensing fee to be charged if the vocal is associated with a copyrighted image.

And I suspect that’s what the license intends to say.

But those terms need to be made crystal clear in the license, because they currently aren’t.

1 Like

No, there is no free Reaper license. You can test it for a certain period of time, then if you don’t want to buy a license, you have to remove it from the disk, even if it’s still working. It is unlikely that the police will come to you one morning to check it out, but by law any use of the Reaper after the end of the trial period is illegal!

This is exactly what I’m talking about. It is the cheapest DAW on the market, and for playing at home, I might be willing to pay for it. However, if I were planning serious use, I’d rather go for Studio One 5 Professional (because I don’t really like Reaper and don’t think it’s worth $ 225). I can make a decision because all prices and license conditions are listed on the manufacturer’s website.

However, in the case of virtual singers, instead of open rules understandable to everyone, I have to conduct some secret negotiations, maybe hire a law firm to check if I will not lose everything. And all this after the album was released, because it was just gaining popularity.

Of course, these are theoretical considerations because I have never earned a cent on music. But nothing can be ruled out - each of us can make a meme that for some stupid reason will become famous like Nyan Cat xD

The conclusion is that either:

  1. We need a Western distributor with licenses tailored to the requirements and expectations of western market (especially since the market of virtual singers does not exist and has yet to be built).

  2. Western studios will start creating voicebanks for SVS

  3. Some Western company has to create its own product from scratch. Unfortunately, it seems to me that nobody is working on it seriously.

  4. The technology will develop so much that creating a full virtual singer will only require uploading a few seconds of a sample of any song and it will be available to everyone.

I’ve explained this:

The decision about Eleanor Forte’s commercial license will be based on how you use her voice and official image. According to the agreement, if Eleanor Forte’s voice and official image are used in a commercial video, or if commercial music, commercials and peripherals are released, with works worth $1,000 or more, you will need to contact Animen for a license.

You can directly contact this email address for details: volor @ animen.com.tw

(Translate with translator)

2 Likes