How to Check if a Song is Copyrighted on YouTube
We’ll discuss your options in more detail below, but in short, you have three options for making sure you’re using music legally. The first place you should go to check if a song or sound clip can be used is HERE, at the creative commons. If it’s not there or under public domain then most likely it can’t be legally used for free. Public domain music is that which was written on or before 1925.
However, it should be noted that copyright protects “compositions” and “sound recordings” separately, meaning a 2021 version of Rhapsody in Blue could be under copyright protection even though the composition is in the public domain.
While this probably isn’t the answer you want to hear, it’s the truth. Lastly, you can look for music that is royalty-free.
The use of music in YouTube videos is an important part of any YouTube channel, but the fact of the matter is that YouTube music copyright rules are rather strict. YouTube’s algorithms and content ID matching are so advanced that they can detect copyrighted music easily, even in the background of other sounds. That means that figuring out how to use music on YouTube without infringing on copyright can be quite tricky. Luckily, there are a few rules of thumb you should keep in mind so that you can better understand what music you can use on YouTube. Let’s take a closer look at your options.
Music That is Under Public Domain
The easiest way to legally use music in YouTube videos is to use songs that are listed under Public Domain. This typically refers to songs that no longer fall under copyright. They are a great way to use music in YouTube videos without breaking YouTube’s music copyright rules.
Fortunately, there are a lot of databases available online that can show you which songs qualify as Public Domain. That makes these songs a great way to use music in YouTube videos legally.
Music that is Royalty-Free
If you’re asking yourself if you can use royalty-free music on YouTube, the answer is yes! This is another simple method of how to add music to a YouTube Video without copyright issues. It’s a popular option among content creators as royalty-free songs do not limit you to music from last century.
You might now be thinking to yourself, “Is free stock music safe?” The answer is that it depends, but usually it is. While most royalty-free music is stock music, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all stock music is free or royalty-free. Which means you should be careful when perusing stock music databases as they won’t all be royalty-free. While some websites will gladly sell you the proper assets and licenses, not all of them have permission to be freely used in YouTube videos.
So if you’re still asking yourself if you can use royalty-free music on YouTube or if you can use unlicensed music on YouTube, the answer is yes. You just need to be careful that the databases or platforms you grab your songs from truly are royalty-free and not just any kind of stock audio.
Music that is Under Creative Commons Licenses
While this option is not as popular as the previous two, it can still be a useful one to keep in mind when learning how to use copyrighted music on YouTube. Songs that are under CCL are copyrighted but can still be used without penalty as long as the specific guidelines and restrictions are abided by. This can be something as simple as only using specific sections of a song or only playing a song for a few seconds at a time.
While it is a bit more of a hassle, it can be a good way to use specific songs that are both modern and popular to give your YouTube video the extra flavor that it needs. If you want to learn how to find out if a song is copyrighted or CCL then that requires heading over to the specific sites that list the CCL tracks. You’ll then be able to figure out how to tell if a song is copyrighted or not. It’s also good practice to save all licensing agreements you obtain as they can act as useful receipts of your purchased assets, should you ever need to prove to YouTube you obtained them legally.
Finding out if a song is under copyright can get tricky at times, but if you follow the above tips, you should be able to work it out for any songs you’re thinking about adding to your videos. Hopefully this article has helped you with using music in YouTube videos legally. Good luck with your channel and don’t forget to add some (legal) tunes!Copyrights, CreatorEconomy, Creators, MubertRender
Mubert is a platform powered by music producers that helps creators and brands generate unlimited royalty-free music with the help of AI. Mubert's mission is to empower and protect the creators. Our purpose is to democratize the Creator Economy.
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