Any Music Downloads » Copyrights & Licensing » Music Copyright » What is a Copyrighted Audio Track and Why Does it Matter?

What is a Copyrighted Audio Track and Why Does it Matter?

Youtube may run third-party ads on videos containing copyrighted music.

What is a Copyrighted Audio Track? If you have ever uploaded video content containing music onto sites such as YouTube, you may have received at least one or two copyright strikes against your content. Many video creators quickly learn that such problems are associated with using a copyrighted audio track in their videos. However, you might be wondering what exactly copyright music tracks are.

Today we will be examining music copyrights in detail and describing the different ways in which you may be able to get away with using copyrighted audio in your videos.

What is a Copyright?

To understand what exactly a copyrighted audio track is, we must first examine the concept of a copyright. The term “copyright” essentially refers to the legal aspects of the ownership of a particular piece of intellectual property.

If you are the author or creator of a piece of intellectual property, a copyright will provide you with the exclusive right to your work.

So what makes a work copyrightable? For a work to be considered copyrightable, it simply needs to be fixed and original. For example, a literary work written onto a piece of paper or an audio track recorded onto a CD would be considered copyrightable.

What is a Copyrighted Audio Track?

Copyrights in the music world can be a bit complicated to understand. This is because there are actually two copyrights associated with each music track. The first is the copyright within the song itself. This refers to the song’s compositional elements such as lyrics and instrumental arrangements.

The second copyright is the one associated with the sound recording or the track’s “master recording”.

How Long Does an Audio Copyright Last?

You should know that a music copyright doesn’t last forever. In countries such as the USA and the UK, a copyright expires 70 years after the death of the original author. So if a musician lives for 50 years after their music is published, it will retain its copyright for 120 years.

This arrangement ensures that the musician retains ownership and control of their work throughout their lifetime.

What is Copyright Infringement?

Many video creators on platforms such as Youtube may already be familiar with copyright infringement. A copyright infringement is said to occur when a person infringes on the copyright of a protected work.

The owner of the work usually has to prove that another person or party copied their original work and its elements. In such cases, the owner can sue the infringing party and ask for compensation.

What Does Copyright Infringement Mean for Video Creators?

Video creators in the digital era may run into copyright infringement issues from time to time. For example, you may have uploaded a video to Youtube without realizing it contained copyrighted audio.

In extreme cases, you may get sued by the track’s original creator. However, in most cases your video’s audio is likely to get muted. In other cases, Youtube may choose to demonetize your video, remove it entirely, or run third-party ads over it.

This can be an issue for video creators who rely on views to earn revenue.

Some video creators may be sued for using copyrighted music without permission.

How to Avoid Audio Copyright Claims on YouTube

It is possible to run a successful Youtube channel without ever running into music copyright issues. Some strategies to avoid music copyright claims on Youtube include:

Using Royalty-Free Music from Music Sites

There is plenty of music available that is protected by copyright but can be used without owning said copyright. This “royalty-free” music can be used free of charge and without fear of copyright strikes.

You can find plenty of royalty-free music on sites as:

Use Your Own Music

The best way to avoid copyright claims on Youtube is to simply use music that you have created yourself. This could be a simple chord progression you composed on a keyboard or a drum beat you made on a digital audio workstation software.

This strategy also gives you a chance to show off your own music to your audience and potentially kickstart a music career.

Stay Safe from Copyright Issues

Every video creator wants to use meaningful and moving music in their content. However, it is vital to understand if you are using a copyrighted audio track in your work. The above guide should serve as a good starting point for anyone who is seeking to use music in their videos without running into copyright issues.

For further guidance on this topic, check out our other articles:

How To Use Music Without Copyright Infringement

How to Find Out If a Song is Copyrighted

What is Uncopyrighted Music?