OC ReMix is a fan community creating free video game music arrangements (a.k.a. "ReMixes", capital R, capital M - BRANDING!) founded by David "djpretzel" Lloyd in 1999, which is pre-iPod/iOS/FLAC/YouTube/thumb drives/high-speed internet. The VGM arrangements submitted to the site are all peer reviewed for the level of interpretation, compositional quality, and production quality, and we encourage all genres of music. We're currently at 3,000+ individual arrangements as well as 60+ albums freely offered to gaming and music fans worldwide, and have been recruited for music projects by Capcom (Street Fighter, Mega Man), Eidos/Square Enix (Deus Ex), and more (TBA!).

Part of the mission of freely hosting interpretive VGM arrangements is the goal to promote VGM as an art form, as well as the original composers and companies that created the music we love. We have a comprehensive database of the games and songs arranged by our community, which we believe helps our case for Fair Use. We also host torrents of OC ReMixes for non-piracy purposes. :-D Lastly, as part of our Patreon campaign, we have a goal to file for 501(c)3 status to become an official non-profit organization.

Thank you to intellectual property & open Internet non-profit Public Knowledge for organizing this AMA as part of Fair Use Week!

In particular, if you have any legal questions on creating fan-made VGM arrangements/remixes, and whether what you're doing is a legitimate example of Fair Use, Meredith and Raza of Public Knowledge may be able to offer some insight.

Proof! http://ocremix.org/community/topic/42720-/


  • David "djpretzel" Lloyd (OC ReMix founder & president) - /u/djpretzel
  • Larry "Liontamer" Oji (OC ReMix community manager & head submissions evaluator and yet... non-musican) - /u/LarryOji using /u/ocremix
  • Meredith Rose (Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge, ready to help with legal questions) - /u/MRose_PK
  • Raza Panjwani (Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge, also ready to assist with legal questions) - /u/panjwaniPK
  • more OC ReMixers who want to chime in!

*This isn't merely a 2-hour or 1-day AMA! At the very least, Larry Oji will check for new questions until we get to them all. Seeing this many days later? You're good here, please ask away! :-)

How to join OC ReMix:


We also did a self-AMA in 2013 when our free 5-disc Final Fantasy VI tribute album was released; lots of previous Q's got A'ed there!

Comments: 325 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

-br-16 karma

I've been lurking since 1999, so i've seen a lot of incarnations of OC ReMix over the years.

Do you guys have any "ultimate" goal for the future as far as evolution of the site, the brand, and the community go?

ocremix9 karma

Larry: Adding to what /u/djpretzel said, we really need to catch up our submissions inbox, which is way WAY behind on real-time, since we're more popular with submissions than ever. We get 900-1,000 per year now, all compounded with djpretzel, me, and other long-time staff all having less time, due to families, work, school, and other real-life responsibilities. We're always working on that, but we'll need more, younger staff to help reduce the judging time (and we're in the middle of that search).

Community-wise, I'm seeing good things from other VGM fan communities like Dwelling of Duels, Shinesparkers/Harmony of Heroes, Materia Collective, and people with YouTube followings. In a perfect world, we'd have outreach to get fan arrangers not involved with OCR into submitting to the site.

With OCR having been around since 1999, a lot of artists who aren't familiar enough with OCR have self-rejected good tracks of theirs, mistakenly assuming they weren't good enough to pass the quality & creativity bars we've set, when really they should dive in.

Everyone's welcome, and there's no clique you need to be a part of to get your music approved, so no one should scare themselves off from joining the OCR community and submitting their work.

ocremix13 karma


How did you discover OC ReMix? :-)

NativeJovian10 karma

What sort of legal issues have you faced for posting music based on copyrighted material? Have you gotten cease & desist orders or been sued by a copyright holder?

ocremix7 karma

Larry: Yeah, we've never been sued, BUT when we first launched our 2013 Kickstarter for the Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin album, our intention was to use the funds to cover licensing through a service like Warner-Chappell, but we were DMCA'ed by Squenix. Once djpretzel was able to reach their legal department and explained the situation (i.e. we weren't looking to profit from their IP, and that our intention was to license the music in order to print physical copies of the album), he and zircon were able to painstakingly go back and forth with them to win their approval with some favorable terms, the catch being that we did this agreement directly through them. We can't disclose the terms, but we didn't have to compromise much because it wasn't a for-profit venture to begin with. djpretzel can speak more to how the process worked out, but it was pretty stressful to say the least. That said, we're the only group we know of to get some sort of C&D-type action from a company yet actually work it out, whereas most fan-games and the like get shut down never to be heard from again.

Other than that, we've never had anything close to a negative reaction or a barrier put up by a copyright holder, company, or even an original composer. Everyone has been very supportive of what the community's doing, and we've had the opportunity to work with Capcom in particular on some awesome projects!

KeeperOfThePeace9 karma

When will the Seiken Densetsu 3 album reasonably come out? Hasn't it been in progress for like literally 10 years?

zirconst10 karma

At our MAGfest panel we announced that it IS coming this year. For sure. Pinky swear :)

ocremix6 karma

Larry: Indeed! :-)

EDIT: Only 8 years. ;-)

toweringtreetop7 karma

Spanish Jitters off the DKC3 album is quite possibly the greatest musical collaboration I've so far heard on the site, what with David Wise himself being the primary musician of the track. What other epic collaboration mixes would you recommend?

Kilshin6 karma

First off, thank you for what you do, I've utilized your website since I had to take turns with my brothers to use the family computer, and still turn to you when I want to find a specific song.
As for my question, what are possible legal threats that organizations such as your own could soon run into with the ever-changing fair use laws?

ocremix3 karma

Larry: Thanks for being an old school fan! :-)

As for legal threats, it may sound blissfully ignorant, but after 15 years of doing this, we don't anticipate many legal problems. Honestly, the Internet's kind of a Wild West situation where too many musicians for-profit monetize VGM arrangements without any sort of good faith effort to license things with the original copyright holder, and we've purposefully NOT done that for 15+ years, so we don't anticipate many issues.

Like /u/djpretzel's mentioned in another answer, gaming magazines' have published fan drawings of copyrighted characters for years without incident, and we are confident we function in a similar vein on the musical level.

We aim to popularize game music and broaden its audience, which should help (not hinder) companies commercially, the arrangements are generally pretty transformative, and we have a comprehensive database that promotes the copyright holders, original composers, and original song titles. We're doing our best to function as an educational resource on VGM and music-making. :-)

KyCour6 karma

Hi! I founded Fair Use Week 3 years ago (thanks for contributing!). I am interested I how you and your community learned and interacted with fair use before there was the large national movement (and in courts) over the last decade: was it talked about? Did you share best practices? Did you avoid it all together? Take it for granted? Thanks!

djpretzel5 karma

We certainly didn't take it for granted BUT we also were in an interesting position - gamers have been making fan art (drawings, illustrations, etc.) for decades, and no one really questioned copyright NEARLY as much as when more of us started making musical arrangements. It's very strange that one medium / form of expression would get so much more scrutiny than another, but I think MP3s raised so many copyright concerns with Napster, etc., back in the day that music got stigmatized relative to artwork when it came to fan-made IP concerns.

I was aware of Fair Use prior to starting the site in 1999; I remember reading about Negativland and the whole U2 incident back in the nineties :) 1999/2000 was a different time for the Internet, and the site started off smaller of course, but as things have grown and progressed, we've definitely had situations where we've had to explain Fair Use and our belief that our work falls under its umbrella.

The absolute hardest thing for the average person to understand is that Fair Use is an affirmative defense - you'll hear people declare that something is or is not Fair Use definitively, when this can only really be established/invoked in court. Once things have gone to court, one problem is that the average individual's legal resources pale in comparison to those of most IP owners who would be interested in litigation, so the cards are a little stacked. That's why organizations like Public Knowledge & the EFF are critical - to ensure that the spirit of Fair Use isn't just lip service, but is upheld.

We believe that free expression through interpretive fan works, especially in the educational/historical context we attempt to provide and especially in a less commercial setting, embraces the spirit of Fair Use, is made possible by Fair Use, and makes the world a better place.

ocremix3 karma

Larry: Adding to what /u/djpretzel said, if anyone more versed in Fair Use viewed ocremix.org and felt there were things we need to do in order to make our fair use case more apparent, we're all ears, as that has always been our intention. That said, I think we do pretty well in that regard, including explicitly crediting original composers and track names, as well as our mission of being an educational resource for video game music, particularly through these non-commercial arrangements.

metagloria6 karma

Be straight with me: will the other four parts of the FF5 album ever happen? What's holding it up? Lack of public interest? Lack of ReMixer interest? Lack of time? We've seen multiple FF titles - including II, which nobody even cares about (I do, and I thought the album was great!) - get the full-OST treatment since the first part of V was released. I've heard "we're working on it!" before, so please give me a little more detail than that if possible. Keep up the great work!

ocremix10 karma

Shariq "DarkeSword" Ansari: As we announced over the weekend at MAGFest, "WATER," Part 2 of FFV: The Fabled Warriors, will be releasing sometime around the end of March. The album was held up mostly due to my own creative block on a specific remix that I felt a lot of ownership over. I've written plenty of other music over the years (and have directed a few albums in between), but this remix is one I really wanted to do, and I had a very specific vision for it which turned out to be very difficult to realize. The whole thing turned into this big monolithic hurdle for me. I finally had to just sit down and force myself to write it and let the arrangement go where it naturally went, rather than try and fail at realizing my original vision. The piece turned out wonderfully, so I'm excited for people to finally hear it.

As far as the next three parts afterwards, given what happened with WATER, it would be irresponsible for me to give any kind of hard date or estimate. But I've decided that after this one, I don't want to be the bottleneck, so I'll be limiting my own participation as an artist on the albums to one track. I can't promise dates, but I will say that having run another annualized album series with out Fighting Game Community albums, I think I've figured out a way to get The Fabled Warriors back onto a regular schedule. Look out for FIRE, EARTH, and DAWN in the coming years.

soupdumpling5 karma

Hi guys. Long time listener, first time caller - thank you for finally having an AMA!

I've been lucky enough to have met a bunch of you guys IRL and happen to be coworkers with one of your staff members. As a lurker in your community, I'm constantly impressed at the number of concurrent remix album compilations OCR has going on - I can't imagine the amount of time and coordination that these take to put together. That said, I find it flabbergasting that there has not been a F-Zero album yet. I talked it over with Darkesword several times over the past few years that F-Zero - The Big Blue Album of Big Blue Remixes featuring Big Blue (FZTBBABFBB) should be a thing.

What is the process in putting together a project(such as the inevitable F-Zero album)? When will the F-Zero TBBABFBB album be released?

ocremix5 karma

Larry: This idea sounds pretty evil. How dare you! :-P

ocremix3 karma


What features do you want to see on OC ReMix?

jane_doe_unchained3 karma

I've been downloading remixes from your site for years. It seems like there are a plethora of remixes of classic games both out there and still being made, and very few remixes being made for newer games. Am I mistaken, or is there a reason for that?

Also, djpretzel, I love your vocals on your remix of "Fighting Through the Darkness" from "Lunar: The Silver Star Story".

ocremix2 karma

Larry: The simplest answer is that popular older games have the nostalgia factor, whereas popular newer games just don't. Sometimes, something newer takes off with a lot submissions when the game is hot, so I know we have several Undertale submissions to eventually get to. :-)

You've gotta be trolling /u/djpretzel by enjoying that Lunar mix. That said, djp's a MUCH better singer and producer now.

metagloria3 karma

I got into OCReMix, like many, via Voices of the Lifestream and subsequent FF material. However, my all-time favorite OCReMix track is Prince uf Darkness's "Casiopizza vs. TMNT-Square", which literally dropped my jaw the first time I heard it. My question is, what genre is this and how can I hear more of it ASAP?! Or is this just a totally unique fusion of electro-jazz-funk that doesn't exist anywhere else outside this remix?

ocremix3 karma

Larry: Prince uf Darkness's track title is a pun off of (and a direct inspiration from) the Japanese jazz fusion bands Casiopea and T-Square), so if you look them up on YouTube, you'll be headed in the right direction. :-)

pldro43 karma

Are there any famous artists who have collaborated with you?

NativeJovian4 karma

Depends on your definition of "famous", but several professional musicians, including VGM composers, have posted remixes on OCR. Jeremy Soule (composer for the Elder Scrolls series since Morrowind, among other things) and Hyadain (aka Kenichi Maeyamada, composer of various anime and J-pop songs) are two off the top of my head, not even counting long-time contributors who have been posting on OCR since before they've done professional work

ocremix4 karma

Larry: Yeah, we've got a lot of street cred from the professional game composers who have either contributed to OCR or have become professionals since contributing. I named a few examples of that in this response to some negativity in 2013. :-D

saviorxtanren3 karma

Do you have any plans to do additional physical album releases like you did with FF6 Balance & Ruin, FF7 Voice of the Lifestream, and Megaman For Everlasting Peace?

I would buy so many physical versions of the albums in a heartbeat, particularly the Megaman X Maverick Rising album. :D

ocremix2 karma

Larry: Yeah, /u/zirconst covered it well, though I will say, we should be making more (ideally). We should probably do a poll to see what's the most requested, and then work from there, though in my personal bias, I'd REALLY like a physical promo copy of Seven Songs for Seventh Saga.

alorian3 karma

Hello! I've been listening to ocremixes for something like 15 years. I think it's really cool that you guys do this kind of thing.

What are each of your top 3 favorite remixes (your own or anybody else's)?

ocremix4 karma

Larry: With 3,000+ tracks on the site, it's something that fluctuates a lot, because there's always new stuff to listen to. We had some overviews of great mixes at 1UP.com and The Onion A.V. Club featuring several staff picks, including mine, so I encourage you to check out those! so I'll name some recent ones that are getting looped a lot by me. :-)

The takeaway is don't skip OC ReMixes. They're awesome no matter what the game is or who the artist is, even if you have no nostalgic connection. Keep an open mind and give everything a chance, because you'll find way more good music that way. The picky people miss out on a lot of great work.

wankawitz2 karma

I haven't been to OC ReMix for 10 years! I'm sure I've missed a lot. I know it's subjective, but what are the 3 best remixes in the past 10 years?

ocremix4 karma

Larry: I checked, and (not counting albums) the last 10 years of OC ReMixes is 1,850 ReMixes to pick from lasting over 130 hours straight. Way too many mixes to pick from. :-)

Here's 5 ReMixes (+2 bonus) from more obscure games that I recommend you check out, since I enjoyed 'em:

ehock2 karma

I actually once found a self-printed copy of Relics of the Chozo at a pawn shop.

So I'm curious, are there any interesting places you have found your music end up "out in the wild?"

ocremix2 karma

Larry: Really??? Wow. Definitely wonder how that happened. :-D

We've heard of tales of OC ReMixes being used without attribution as background music in local car dealership television ads, porn (indeed!), Korean game shows, and that kind of stuff. We really never know where they might end up.

On the cool side (with online attribution, yes!), NPR has used OC ReMixes a few times as transition music between stories, mostly from our Mega Man X: Maverick Rising album. We don't know who's responsible for those decisions, but we're down with that and want people to use them even more with our blessing!

Snake_Byte2 karma

What do you think is the proportion of guitar-based covers you guys get?

I'm a big fan of all those video game metal covers! Thanks for lots of inspiration to start /r/videogamemetal

ocremix5 karma

Larry: We have no idea, but we're working on a tagging project to have a database-driven answer to that question. It would also depend on whether you mean acoustic guitar or electric guitar or both. Any percentage I threw out would be a total guess, but one day, we'll be able to easily say what that proportion is.

That said, we love rock and metal mixes, and always want more. In particular, the Brandon Strader-directed & Shizz-collaborated [http://encounter.ocremix.org/](Final Fantasy I: Random Encounter) has a lot of that on tap. :-)

GotNoGameGuy2 karma

Have you ever considered making the donation link a little more prominent?

I know I'm an Internet minority, but I freaking love supporting people/projects I like with my money. If I can get money to artists directly, so much the better. I think you guys are cool; I love the stuff on OCR... I'm happy to support it. I think other people might feel the same way if finding where to do that were a little more obvious.

ocremix3 karma

Larry: Now, when I say that, it doesn't mean anything, but when you say it, it means more to /u/djpretzel. :-) I'm pretty sure that'll be done for the next site design, but it helps to be prodded by people who want to help OCR!

That said, the best way to help us is to support us OC ReMix on Patreon, but we're also on PayPal for one-time support.

Thank you for enjoying the community's music!

EsprayBlast2 karma

I’ve always appreciated music from every generation of consoles. The limitations of older generations for music still blows me away. Especially the Castlevania, Megaman, Ninja Gaiden, and Legend of Zelda series. However, there is still a stigma associated with having an interest of video games and especially the music the older people get. I lost a date when my ringtone set as the Lost Woods from OoT once because it was from that game Zelder. What are your experiences with others who reject game music as real music?

MRose_PK6 karma

Meredith from PK here. Not a legal question, but my legal opinion here is: you dodged a bullet.

ocremix4 karma

Larry: Wow! Yeah, what a bullet to dodge, /u/EsprayBlast! Not a personal experience, but I think we'll mark a meaningful step forward for video game music when most news and radio coverage of VGM stops using the phrase "bleeps and bloops" to describe what VGM used to be. It's such a lazy, shorthand way to describe the 8- & 16-bit era and before, and it has a needlessly dismissive feel to it. Due to great hooks that can withstand a LOT of repetition, video game music was generally fun to listen to even when the hardware was limited, and it's not any more legit now that the audio capabilities have improved.

I'm getting a little up there in age (34 next month), but I've generally found (as I got older), that more and more people are normalized to game music, and its become markedly less stigmatized. Of course, my uncle-in-law was just befuddled by my involvement with OC ReMix, since it doesn't make any money, so on that level, legitimacy's all about what money something generates. :-D Aside from that, I thankfully haven't had many bad experiences touting VGM.

As far as the acceptance of VGM itself as an art form, it's a slow process that we've been a part of since 1999, but game music has achieved more and more credibility over time, whether it's game composers making it to Classic FM's charts, orchestral game concerts out the wazoo like Video Games Live, the VGM station on Pandora, Christopher Tin's "Baba Yetu" winning a Grammy, Austin Wintory's Journey score being nominated for a Grammy, Paul McCartney writing an original song for Destiny, Bandcamp offering a user-friendly way to get indie game soundtracks, the growth of MAGFest, or YouTube making it easier than ever to go down the rabbit hole of VGM when you want to listen to it. Things are trending well in the right direction!

Regifeathers2 karma

Love OCRemix so much, been lurking and listening to remixes for years. I just want to ask, what's the most rewarding part of the job? Is it getting to listen to awesome remixes, or interacting with composers or fans or other cool people, or knowing that your company is freaking amazing and you make so many people happy?

ocremix5 karma

Larry: The most rewarding thing is hearing artists grow from being beginners into talented musicians. There are so many OC ReMixers who got rejected tons of times but stuck with it, grew their skills, and became very accomplished; people like Level 99, Rexy, Brandon Strader, prophetik music come to mind -- aptitude is important, but perseverance is the other key.

The other great thing is hearing unexpected takes on VGM themes, whether they're unique spins on overly-mixed themes or just something unorthodox that takes creative risks and execute them well. Just when you think you're heard every Chrono Trigger "Zeal" theme that you can tolerate, some comes out with something unreal that reminds you of how creative the community is and why you should never doubt them.

MaxFrost2 karma

As someone who's been visiting OCR (and participate and disappear with the community on and off) since 2005, has some of the download traffic tapered off since the introduction of so many live streaming services, or is OCR hosting more downloads than ever before?

Also, thanks for the bitrate bump from last year or so. I still need to purge my library and redownload the new torrent to get the updated mp3s.

ocremix3 karma

Larry: We don't check our traffic stats much, because we're hippies and don't care about popularity (part of why we haven't done ReMix rankings/scoring/toplists), but overall I can say it's gone like this since 2005:

Site pageviews are lower by maybe 40%, so direct MP3 downloads would be lower by extension (we've never tracked downloads), but YouTube & SoundCloud listens easily make up for that traffic multiple times over, so I'm glad we're on there.

Also, you definitely should get those new torrent sets for the individual ReMixes; they're a huge improvement on just the tags alone. :-)

suzums2 karma

Do you still use fallthroughs? Is there a statute of limitations on fallthroughs? When was the last time you had a fallthrough?

Also, where were you and what were you doing Feb. 18-21?

ocremix2 karma

Larry: We still use Fallthroughs, yes, and I'm pretty sure we had one in the last year, but it's very rare these days. Gmail's a much better inbox system that we've been using since 2006, so it's pretty rare. There's no statute of limitations on using one, and we see what you did there. :-)

I wasn't at MAGFest (Feb. 18-21) due to being a new dad, so I was feeding/burping/changing my 10-week-old daughter. :-)