Monday, May 4, 2009

Is Vengeance Selling Stolen Samples?

German soundware developers Vengeance are well known and highly regarded throughout the dance music world. But could they have an ethics problem on their hands?

A recent thread over on the
Trance Addicts Forum suggests that many of the loops on the sample libraries that Vengeance sells may be ripped directly from commercial tracks (presumably without permission or clearance). At the link above, scroll down about halfway down for a posting by one "dannib" where he gives direct A/B comparisons between loops Vengeance is selling and commercial tracks that were released before the Vengeance libraries. Now keep in mind that this is a post on the internet... it doesn't necessarily mean it's true. But the evidence seems pretty damning.

Given how restrictive some of Vengeance's licensing agreements are (non-commercial use only... something you don't find out until you've already purchased the library), and how much legal foot stomping they make about 'watermarking' their samples to track down piracy, this is jaw-droppingly hypocritical if not outright illegal. I suppose there might be differing opinions on the matter, but I think when most people buy a sample library, they expect it to be original material created by the company, not something ripped off from an existing track.

What do you think about this? Would you be pissed to find out a loop collection you bought was made up of samples stolen from existing tracks? How about if you were one of the artists whose work was being sold by the company? Or is this all fair game?


Will C. said...

I'd like to wait to see all of this confirmed (the audio comparisons are down right now, apparently), but if it's true, it's pretty outrageous. I don't have a problem with artists using sampling in their work, or even sampling sources for sample libraries, per se (many libraries sample very old record for "vinyl" drum sounds, from what I understand). What I have a problem with is this company sampling loops, which are basically whole passages of a song, and then repackaging them and acting self-righteous about their intellectual property.

Anonymous said...

i've seen a few people say the same thing on dogsonacid forum. I wonder which Vengeance pack(s) they're talking about?

Anu said...

I haven't listened to or checked out these types of sample CDs in years - when I last did so in the late 90s, it seemed to me that *ALL* of them consisted of samples ripped from other people's records. My knowledge of music is by no means comprehensive, but when I hear drum breaks and riffs in a collection and I recognize them, I keep walking. I think it's appalling business practice.

I also think it's reprehensible that any company would sell a sample set and say "you can't use this in commercial tracks". What are people buying them for?

Then again, I also avoid using these types of things anyhow - the last thing I want is to hear the same sounds I'm using in somebody else's track. So I either buy single-hit samples (for drums) or acoustic instruments that will be only part of a composition,a nd process them extensively.

I remember finding this one sample CD (something like BIG DANCE XXX BEATS!!!) and realizing that Gary Numan had used loops from it for nearly every track on the "Sacrifice" album without doing squat to them. Disappointing!

Anonymous said...

I don't have time to investigate, but one thing to keep in mind is that Manuel Schleiss (the guy behind Vengeance) also produces several artists, so it's not inconceivable that he's including material already used in a tracks he himself has produced or has helped produce.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (previous) is right about Manuel being a pro musician and producer. So this might be one explanation but also one that shouldn't be hard to prove right or wrong.

Besides it's common practice to rip drum sounds from released tracks. Almost all big name sample developers provide kick drums with audible hihats layered over. This is a shame.

Luke said...

I seen this come up more than once over at

Perhaps they don't allow commercial works with their libraries because commercial stuff tends to be vetted somewhat better and might reveal them as frauds.

Tom said...

Luke - I was wondering that myself...

Anonymous said...

+1 with what luke says. It sounds as if they are protecting themselves from the possibility of being sued. I think it sucks that vengeance may be involved with something like this. Have you seen the price of their cds? over $100!. I can see why some people are pissed about spending that much money on something you cannot even use without "explicit permission"

Anonymous said...

Vengeance Vocal Essentials 1 offers vocals form commercial works too:

* Re-Flex - Babadeng
* The Hypnotist - House is Mine (Original from Lynx)
* Suzanne Vega - Tom's Diner
* Mantronix - Do You Like Mantronik?
* Bassboy - Let The Bass Be Louder
* Tyree Cooper - Turn up the Bass
* Public Enemy - Various samples
* maybe much more

Anonymous said...

oh cmon everybody,you doubted this?this took me 10 seconds to spot the first time i heard vengeance samples.they dont even TRY to hide it. i didnt know it was for non com only but that make sense since they ripped all (pretty much) the loops.

Недвижимость в испании купить said...

Here, I do not really suppose this will have effect.

Anonymous said...

I won't be buying any of "their" samples if this is true.

Czyszy said...

Pffft... the guys over at Drum Broker also sell stolen samples.