Welcome to the future – pay to have your data harvested

XLN released a new plugin & app recently, called LIFE
I own & quite like their drum machine plugin XO so I checked out LIFE and even installed the demo. So what does LIFE do?

Well it does two seperate things.

First, it provides an easy means of capture via a ‘field recorder’ app for your phone or a plugin for your DAW. And you then transfer the recordings to the LIFE app and it creates beats using your recordings as source material. At a glance it seems automagical – click random until you hear a beat you like & then proceed…
Cost US$109

So whats the second thing it does?
Well you wouldn’t know unless you read the T&C:

So the second thing it does, which you pay US$109 for, is that LIFE acts as a data harvester. By PAYING to use their plugin XLN obtain the right to harvest and use your recordings for AI training. So thats strike 1 and makes LIFE unuseable for me. But it gets worse, read that 7(a) clause again. They assume the rights to everything you make with their app!??

So this is one way around the legal issue of training AI with copyright material: slip a clause into your app granting all rights AND make the user pay for it!


UPDATE: I tagged XLN on Twitter asking WTF

And this morning the T&C have been updated!



3 thoughts on “Welcome to the future – pay to have your data harvested

  1. Richard Haig

    Damn! Thank you for being on top of this, Tim, and bringing this to our attention! I love using XO and rely on it daily but this is definitely shady behavior.

    On a personal level I just assume everything is used for data training these days and I’m blasé about it. But the rights? That’s beyond the pale. I’ll be emailing them my disapproval.

  2. Richard Haig

    (…hit send too soon)

    I brought up Life to my friends when it was announced the other day. The beginning copy of the announcement is kind of amazing in historical context:
    “The latest software release from XLN Audio has been designed to allow users to take a step away from sample libraries and quickly capture sounds from their own setups or surroundings.
    Life is a plug-in that comes bundled with mobile and desktop recording apps, and allows users to instantly start creating beats from audio captured on the move or in their studio.“

    What the last sentence in particular gets at is that DAWs and contemporary workflows are so divorced from RECORDING SOUND that there’s now space for a product to … wait for it … record sound. Pretty incredible starting point for a product announcement that we’re so in the box now that getting audio in is somehow a problem.

    1. tim Post author

      heh its the same with samplers… remember when samplers had a record button and could sample? Like all of them could, otherwise they became known as ROMplers. Now the opposite is true – most software samplers are actually sample replay engines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *