Weird Merch Idea... Would this be Legal?

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by scottro202, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    498
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    So, say I'm a band and I want to sell a little package that includes a wristband, a lighter with the artist's name on it (I have no formal project atm so we'll call them "the Widgets" for you econ majors out there :lol:). And you also include a USB drive with the Widget's latest album on there. And, you could have packages with the songs in WAV, FLAC, MP3, etc. that all include the lighter and wristband. And for the FLAC one, I could throw in a copy of VLC player (a free media player software that supports FLAC since iTunes and such don't support it.). You could wrap the wristband around the lighter and usb drive and make it real pretty. We'll get the drummer's girlfriend to handle that. So, the drummers right hand *ba dum tsh.*

    Now, my question is, since I'm charging for the lighter and the music and the Flash stick, would I get in any trouble for including the free VLC software on there? Like, could they sue me for selling their product or something along those lines?

    I'm no lawyer nor an economist I'm just a guitarist so any insight is appreciated :lol:
     
    Given To Fly likes this.
  2. coffeeflush

    coffeeflush SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    99
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Location:
    Cottbus
    Nope.Its open source. So you can.
    Also, there is always foobar2000
     
  3. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    498
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Cnet hosts a download for it and they probably get ad money, which is essentially the same thing just replace my songs + merch with advertisement space. So, by that logic I guess I'd be in the clear right? Cause Cnet hasn't had any problems as far as I know.
     
  4. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,068
    Likes Received:
    266
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    I would research this more and talk to a lawyer if possible. It seems like it would be fine but then again you are making money off a "free" product, even though it makes up a tiny portion of what you are offering.

    I think you have a good product idea which is why you should make sure its all kosher with the law. :cool:
     
  5. asher

    asher So Did We

    Messages:
    8,800
    Likes Received:
    690
    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    All else fails, I think you could drop FLAC (or the software) without *too* much issue... most people probably aren't going to have the listening hardware to discern any difference.

    Alternately, you could always add a little text file with a link to VLC for people who can't play it already.
     
  6. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

    Messages:
    2,470
    Likes Received:
    498
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    That's actually a great idea! :hbang: That way I'm simply pointing them to download the program in the same way Google did for me when I searched "Flac player"

    And yeah, most people probably don't care enough since they'll be listening to it on iPod headphones or whatever, but for those who will they'll probably really dig it, especially if it's the same price as the MP3 option.
     
  7. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,068
    Likes Received:
    266
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    You could tell people they need to buy the listening hardware. :eek: JK But seriously, its like pulling teeth to convince people to spend money on high quality video and audio equipment, yet once they do, I've never heard anyone say the regret it. :lol:
     
  8. rectifryer

    rectifryer Banned

    Messages:
    1,735
    Likes Received:
    92
    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    Central FL
    This is exactly what open source is for.
     
  9. coffeeflush

    coffeeflush SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    99
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Location:
    Cottbus
    So, foobar is legal to distribute and so is VLC as long as you give credit to the developers and specify that the package cost does not include the programs and that they are free to use and distribute as long as the developer gets credit.
     
  10. neotronic

    neotronic SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    42
    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
  11. 3trv5u

    3trv5u tone whore

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    Location:
    Germany
    You can just include a .txt file with a D/L link to VLC.
     
  12. AdenM

    AdenM Illuminaughty

    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    358
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    California, USA
    I feel like the VLC thing is a nonissue because the people who would be interested in buying a FLAC version of said album are most likely knowledgable about various audio formats and have VLC already.
     
  13. noUser01

    noUser01 Still can't play.

    Messages:
    3,588
    Likes Received:
    284
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Let's be honest though, the people who want the FLAC version are probably the people who already know how to play FLAC on their computers. I don't think it would be an issue, and leaving VLC off of the package would make things feel more legit and more about your band, you know? "Mixed goods" in a package can sometimes be off-putting, it is to me anyways, certainly can't speak for anyone else.
     
  14. JonusGrumby

    JonusGrumby The Skipper

    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    Another thing to consider, to draw any heat away from you--get your taxpayer ID number.
    If you're selling merch in a public place, your state may require a taxpayer ID.
     

Share This Page