Beat stores have become more popular as the possibilities of the digital world expand. Simply put, these are online shopping places where you can buy—and sometimes sell—preexisting rhythms. Many users, in networks such as Reddit, recommend plenty of links to access these sites. Some online experiences suggest that, whenever you feel like your song is missing something, beat stores are the place to get readily available material for your advantage. However, while they might seem like an attractive option, the terms in which they offer the recorded sounds can be misleading. For this reason, in this entry we’ll state some information for you to be aware of how, by accessing this material, you can infringe copyright.
The Intricacies of Beat Stores
If you do a basic Google search on the phrase “beat store,” you’ll soon realize that the engine will immediately attempt to correct it to “best stores.” Although funny, we believe there’s an underlying reason: these places don’t usually advertise as freely as one would think precisely because of the murky territory in which they stand. Regardless, there are plenty of options to access them. You can simply enter Reddit, for instance, and find a plethora of users who recommend where to go. In a general objective sense, whenever someone owns something and decides to sell it, said owner is in his/her own right to do so. And you, as a buyer, are in your right to purchase the material. However, the tricky territory emerges on the terms in which you buy the sounds. Sometimes they’re offering you “licensed” material, but it actually isn’t as simple as that.
How Do Beat Stores Look Like?
Before we move into the copyright field of this topic, it’s important for you to know the basic display of this type of page. Generally, its layout is similar to that of any popular streaming platform: you’ll encounter videos or recordings which you can then play and listen to. Each of the items in the catalog tends to be accompanied by a descriptive heading. And you’ll be able to scroll down to look at all the pieces they’re offering. Also, these recordings will not only contain the beats, but an underlying voice warning that whatever you’re listening to is still an example and not yours to use. As in any other selling website, there’s usually a purchase button that will lead you to a shopping cart and, afterwards, to the payment page.
Beat Stores and Copyright
As mentioned previously, this service is quite appealing. Some testimonies share that this platform saved them from a creative crisis; others, that it makes their tasks easier. Whatever the reason, what’s crucial is for you to understand the terms to which you’re agreeing. Beats stores typically offer the same beat (audio recordings and maybe music compositions) at several prices, each with its own distinct contractual arrangements. In other words, they’ll offer different options of purchase: some will promise “basic” beats, while others are “premium,” “unlimited,” and “exclusive.” It’s also common to see them described as “licensed,” “leased,” or “on sale.” However, you need to pay close attention to what the terms of the agreement are. Just as an example, a page may “lease” you a beat, which means that you don’t completely own the instrumental outright. The common denominator in all of these pages is that the less amount of money you pay, the more restricted you are to use the beat.
Here are some examples of the aforementioned restrictions. Firstly, the formats in which you can use the beat. For instance, think MP3 or WAV. Secondly, those that stem from the ways in which you can employ the beat and what your rights are over them. To clarify: you may or may not be able to incorporate the beat in a music video or perform the resulting work publically. Thirdly, you might encounter restrictions on the number of sales, downloads, streams, and views. Finally, there’s most likely an expiration date on your purchase. That is, the agreement expires.
While we’re not asking you not to use the materials available on beat stores, we do recommend that you carefully check whether these are worth the price. Beat stores might be a resourceful way to transcend a creative block or, indeed, a medium to obtain certain funds if you decide to offer your productions in such fashion. Just as in the case of sampling, remix, mashup, interpolations and covers, beat stores too run down to the same principle: it’s all about knowing how to use music legally. In a subsequent entry, we’ll offer further considerations on these platforms so you can choose, for yourself, if you’ll give it a try.