Rights to use music

Before using music in your videos you must ensure that you have obtained the proper rights for the song. For mainstream popular music, this can be extremely difficult and expensive. Luckily, there are alternatives ways to get legal music into your videos. One solution is to use a Creative Commons License.

Creative Commons Licenses

The Creative Commons is a new system, built upon current copyright law, that allows you to legally use “some rights reserved” music, movies, images, and other content — all for free. CC offers free copyright licenses that anyone can use, as long as the artists are given proper credit. For instance, a musician would use a Creative Commons license to allow people to legally share her songs online, make copies for friends, or even use them in videos or other compositions.

How do I find songs with Creative Commons licenses?

Here are some websites (in order of recommendation) that offer music that can be used for free under CC licenses.

What licenses can I use?

You can use licenses that allow for commercial use. Look for the image on the left or search each site for commercial use allowed.


Allows Commercial Use Non-commercial Use Only

Also, you need to use music that is not licensed under a No Derivative Works license. This means that the musician doesn’t want you to change, transform, or make a derivative work using their music. Under CC licenses, synching the music to images amounts to transforming the music, so you can’t legally use a song under a CC No Derivative Works license in your video.

How do I give appropriate credit in my video?

Every Creative Commons license requires giving appropriate credit. It’s important to understand this, and to also know what this phrase “appropriate credit” means. This means you need to give credit, but according to the Creative Commons, the credit must be done in a certain way. You must give credit and include a link back to the artist page and a link to the CC license.

Example: If you use cafe connection by morgantj, you would list the following at the end of the video:

Music “cafe connection” by morgantj featuring Morusque

Available at ccMixter.org http://ccmixter.org/files/morgantj/18947

Under CC BY license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Further reading about using music

We recommend reading more about this:

Ask for a review

If you are not sure if you added the credit appropriately, ask us to review your video before to confirm.

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