Four Legal Ways To Find Music For Any Video You Upload To YouTube

by Emilio Pérez Miguel on December 14, 2010

illegal music

Putting a video together commemorating one of these once-in-a-lifetime occasions is lots of fun and a tearjerker for everybody… until YouTube takes it down because you used music you weren’t supposed to even get near to begin with.

If you want to ensure that isn’t ever happening to you, below you have four legal ways to find music you could use as part of your montage.

1- Creative Commons Licenses

A creative commons license denotes works that the artists have decided to share with the public, while keeping certain rights to themselves.

There are lots of free creative commons audio tracks on the Web. Check these sites out: Jamendo, Danodongs and Incompetech. The first is a repository with more than a quarter million tracks, and the other two are examples of sites created by individual artists.

2- Stock Audio

Much like stock photo libraries, stock audio libraries let people license music for specific purposes. Check iStockphoto to learn about the legalities at play, and to see all the different types of licenses that are available.

3- Pay-per-use

We are getting more specific now. Music licensed on a pay-per-use basis comes from professional artists that are not really “famous”, but who know their stuff. In most cases, you can commission them to compose something solely for you. Just remember: the more specific you get, then the more that you should expect to pay.

4- Public Doman

The expression public domain (PD for friends) refers to pieces whose copyright has expired. This happens to all works after a set amount of time. In the US, that is 70 years after the artist has passed away.

What you must understand, now, is that you are not allowed to use just any old version of a classical work that you love. You can’t ever use recordings of the New York Philharmonic playing “The Four Seasons” to accompany your video. No, what you can do is to record the song yourself on your piano, guitar or whatever instrument you have mastered. That is sure not to get you in any kind of trouble, and ensure your clip will remain online for generations to come.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Cardell December 15, 2010 at 10:10 am

For legal music that you can use on YouTube try MusicRevolution.com https://www.musicrevolution.com, an online marketplace for royalty-free music. The MusicRevolution.com production music library has over 10,000 of tracks of affordable, high-quality royalty-free production music suitable for film, video, TV, radio, website, background music, legal music for YouTube, on hold music and other business music applications. New music is being added every day. Single tracks start at $9.99. I am the co-founder.

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Emilio December 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Cool site you have! I’d be glad to write a feature on it soon…

Thanks, Chris!

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