Can I legally use short sounds from movies, like a door closing, in my game?

Is there a way for others know from where the sounds came from originally? Does it matter if I apply audio editing to the sample?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ That's still copyright infringement. What is so hard in recording the sound yourself? Or buying a sound bank? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt
    Feb 8, 2021 at 4:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ sonniss.com/gameaudiogdc Slightly off-topic, but this site releases GBs of sound effects every year for GDC. It has various styles of doors opening/closing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sirisian
    Feb 12, 2021 at 0:36

2 Answers 2


Using stock sound effects is actually very common in the film industry (like the infamous Wilhelm Scream). But movie studios actually pay for the rights to these sound effects, usually in form of buying larger libraries of stock sound effects. So they will expect you to do the same thing.

Don't use audio samples when you don't have an explicit permission to do so.

And by the way: Doing your own Foley is actually very easy, doesn't require any special equipment you likely won't have laying around anyway and it is a lot of fun.


I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. However our studio recently had to deal with a bunch of sound copyright issues and I can tell you that it is taken very seriously. We bought a bunch of recordings of CC0 music and somehow we are still getting flagged by automatic detection for copyright infringment in a lot of places. We went over our issue and a bunch of others with a lawyer and I can assure you that what you are proposing is NOT legal in any way. You will need to either purchase sound banks or find free CC0 sfx resources.


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