Wavetable copyright

Keep in mind that copyright is not the only protection that you might run afoul of. The obvious example here is that the Harley Davidson company holds a trademark on the sound of their exhaust system. They used it within their industry to shut down a line of bikes from Yamaha that had reverse-engineered the sound of Harley pipes, and in ours to issue a cease and desist against a company that was selling a physically-modeled synth engine into the game industry.

Woah wait, do I understand correctly… Harley Davidson stopped someone recreating the sound of their motorbike for use in a video game?

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Unless someone was going to pursue a licensing agreement, I’d assume. They really don’t have a choice – fundamental to having a trademark is protecting its use vigorously (which is why ‘aspirin’ and ‘heroin’, both originally trademarks of Bayer, are now generic – Bayer let them slip into that state). If you’re ever bored at a library, see if they have a subscription to the Columbia Journalism Review, which appears to mostly be sustained by ads reminding reporters to use their trademarked names correctly in articles. My favorite is the one that reminds reporters that "there are two 'R’s in “Xerox ®”

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So it wasn’t about the sound at all, but selling it as the “Harley Davidson Sound”. Nobody would care, if they sold it as “American Chopper engine modelling”, but neither would their customers…

It’s probably the same like the UAD plugins, they have to sound decent and resemble the original. But the buying decision is, because it says “Lexicon” or “Fairchild” on the box. And I assume, that’s where the money of these plugins goes.

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So it wasn’t about the sound at all, but selling it as the “Harley Davidson Sound”. Nobody would care, if they sold it as “American Chopper engine modelling”, but neither would their customers…

I don’t think that the Yamaha bikes they shut down were marketed with the brand name mentioned. My understanding is that the sound itself is characterized in a way that they’ve been able to claim ownership/trade protection of. IANAL.

Oh you were talking of two separate cases, sorry…
It’s crazy what people protect…

I am not the most tactful person, but I would say in response to ‘extensively modified sounds still being derivative works’ that it’s wishful thinking on the part of the original developer, and if anyone challenged it in court, they would have a very difficult time persuading a judge. Im not a lawyer either, but if I were wanting to defend this statement, I would point out that ‘copyright’ in the literary world still allows for partial quotes in fair use, and moreover, if you refer to a statement in a written work within indirect speech, it not considered copying. Im not interested in arguing the point, I just wanted to point out the anomaly for you. Cheers )