Almost every YouTuber encountered the question – “Can I use royalty free music in my YouTube videos?”. What YouTube says in their Policy – The video creator should not upload videos they didn’t make. Or use content in their videos that someone else owns the copyright to, such as music tracks.
What that means, if the creator of music permits you to use their music, you can use it on YouTube in your videos. You will need verification of that fact. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to post your video. YouTube has strict copyright policies and will not allow any infringement of them.
Or is there another solution? Can you use royalty free music on youtube? The above policy didn’t answer that question.
What’s important to know before I can use royalty free music on YouTube
Some companies offer royalty-free music. This music is not listed with any performance rights organization or royalty collection agency. Wikipedia
Royalty-Free music is a music license that allows the buyer to pay for the music license. Then they can use the music for as long as they want. This payment is a one-time fee. It gets confusing from there. There are paid royalty-free music and free royalty-free music. The difference lies with the license.
Free License – royalty-free music comes in two categories. Free royalty-free music has several restrictions on its use.
● Public Domain music – works that are not protected by copyright
● The music covered by free licenses – the author establishes the limitations for the use of their work
Paid royalty-free music: By paying for a license, you avoid any restrictions on the use of the music.
Read more: Royalty free music for podcasts
Still asking yourself – “Can I use royalty free music on youtube?” We’ll expand further below.
If you want to know more about the general definition of royalty-free music, here are some helpful posts you should read:
How does YouTube Treat Music in Videos?
YouTube algorithms review videos that are posted on their site. The algorithm flags copyrighted music in your videos. And often non-copyrighted music. These algorithms are notoriously inaccurate.
● It is called the Content ID program.
● It is designed to protect copyright holders.
● It helps content creators manage and monetize their work.
● Copyright holders register their content with YouTube.
● When the content is registered, the owner decides how to treat violators.
● Violations can result in videos being: muted, tracked, monetized, or blocked.
● Content ID scans the pictures and the audio of uploaded videos.
● The algorithm checks videos against the content database.
● Pre-chosen violation options are applied to the video.
● If the owner chooses to monetize your video, ads are placed on it, and the money goes to the copyright owner.
● Algorithms have trouble identifying videos that fall under the fair use policy.
● The result, unfair flagging of videos.
So the question still stands. Can I use royalty free music on youtube? How does YouTube handle royalty-free music? and also, do I have to credit royalty free music?
How Content ID affects YouTube Video Creators, and How it’s Realted to using Royalty-Free Music
Video creators are limited to the number of strikes they can get. Receiving three strikes in 90 days results in severe penalties. Severe penalties for those strikes are:
— limiting the video creator’s rights to upload videos
— threats to remove their channel
— removing the channel
And let’s face it, YouTube’s copyright policy is rather vague. Violations come in two forms, misunderstanding the fair use policy and outright copyright violations.
Content ID flags videos that fall under the fair use policy. The video creator can dispute it, but it takes time. Video content creators request YouTube to review their findings and remove the strike. But, will they? It’s up to the YouTube employee who issued the strike to rescind it.
Copyright flagged videos go before the original artist. The artist will decide to waive the strike or not. This process can get complicated. Music copyrights can be owned by the publishing company, the artist, and another agency.
Each strike takes time and effort to get resolved if it can be. YouTube has all the power in these situations.
Can you use royalty free music on youtube? Will using royalty-free music help you get around the YouTube Content ID?
What Steps can a Video Creator take to Protect Their Channel?
Legal ways to protect yourself and your channel. As we discovered, there are three forms of royalty-free music.
● Public domain
● Free license music (also called free royalty-free music), which has very tight restrictions
● Paid royalty-free music
Free royalty-free music has several restrictions on its use. Using it can get you into difficulties with YouTube. If you can’t use the free license – royalty-free music? Can you use royalty free music on youtube?
Yes. Paid royalty-free music – By paying for a license you avoid any restrictions on the use of the music. Paying for a license gets you around the Content ID algorithms.
Paid royalty-free music provides a cost-effective, legal alternative for YouTube creators. A number of royalty-free music libraries allow the use of their tracks in YouTube videos. Paid royalty-free music can be used even if you’re monetizing your videos.
Paid royalty-free music is a stress-free way to get quality music into your projects. Once you pay for the license, you can use it on several platforms. No more worrying about copyright issues.
No need to battle the Content ID system. Paid royalty-free music is already pre-licensed for your production uses. You buy a track once. It is yours to use from then on with no added fees. Use it as often as you need in as many videos as you want. The Content ID algorithm can not do anything about it.