Does this Song Have Copyright? If you’ve just stepped into the world of content creation, choosing the right song to go with those outstanding visuals is (an obvious) vital. It lets you create an experience instead of just a plain video.
Let’s be realistic here. If it wasn’t for good music, your favorite influencers wouldn’t have made a career out of Vlogging or, let alone, creating other video content. Who would even have kept up with the long reels of makeup artists showing live work or product promotion if it wasn’t for some sort of sound effect in the background?
If you’ve found that perfect track to bring your content to life, here’s what to discover next, does this song have copyright? Learning a thing or two about music copyrights serves you right as a content creator, especially if you’ve just started out.
Let’s dive deeper into all the details you’ve been searching for elsewhere but to no avail.
Does this Song Have Copyright? (Spoiler Alert: Most Songs Are Copyrighted)
What’s so bad about using copyrighted songs? You may wonder. Imagine spending years creating something flawless for your audience and learning that someone else has taken credit for it. Copyrights have existed for decades for this very reason: to protect your intellectual property from being copied or infringed.
So how do you find out whether a song you’ve been planning to use in your content is copyrighted?
Step 1: Upload It On YouTube
The Copyright Checker feature on YouTube is probably your best bet when it comes to finding out whether a song is copyrighted. All you have to do is:
- Log into your YouTube account
- Visit the Youtube Creator Studio
- Upload the video with the song by clicking “create” on the top right corner
- YouTube will take a while to process your video. Once it does, click on Checks.
- You’ll either see a green checkmark (for copyright-free music) or a red exclamation mark (for copyrighted music)
Step 2: Upload It On Facebook and Instagram
Does this song have copyright? Sometimes the answer to the question isn’t as straightforward as we would like it to be. Hence, it’s only practical not to put all your eggs in one basket and use other applications before reaching a conclusion.
The automated systems incorporated in Facebook and Instagram are equipped enough to detect whether the song playing in your video’s background is subject to copyright. However, the only way to find out is by running the risk of receiving a warning once you have uploaded your work on either of the two platforms.
Paying the Price for Copyright Infringement or a Licensing Platform: The Choice Is Yours!
In a majority of cases, doing the latter obviously makes sense. However, what exactly is the cost of using copyrighted music without permission? Well, for one, you could receive a copyright strike, which means your video can be taken down by the platform and, in worst cases, may also be challenged legally by the song’s original author. Unless you wish to jeopardize your image as a content creator, going down that road is highly risky.
On a side note, learn more about the differences between a copyright claim and a copyright strike here to educate yourself.
There’s hardly a benefit to reap from violating a song’s copyrights. In fact, using copyrighted music in your work means you cannot even monetize the video yourself. The benefits from plays and traffic go directly to the copyright holder.
Most importantly, it’s more a matter of understanding what copyrights on a particular song entail than finding out the answer to the question “does this song have copyright?” In other words, it’s more important to find out how restrictive the copyright on a particular song is.
For example, in some countries, playback is restricted on YouTube, which means that a copyright holder can make amends to their policy and takedown any such videos from the platform. This is why many people prefer using copyright-free music as the least troublesome way of incorporating a song into their work.
Are you wondering where to find it? Here are some credible sources to start from.
Public Domain Music
Available for use to everyone without permission, the public domain is where you’ll find:
- Work produced before 1978
- Songs with an author who has been dead for 50 to 80 years
- Songs that existed before the concept of copyright came about
Songs Under Creative Commons Licenses
All songs that come under this particular license are free, but there are restrictions and requirements to be mindful of. For one, the license does not cover using a song for professional purposes (e.g., for Instagram Ads)
Hassle-Free or Royalty-Free Music
While royalty-free music is one of the most preferred choices for most content creators out there, it’s important to establish the difference between royalty-free music and copyright-free music. While the former does not require negotiation for licensing fees, the latter does not require fees. If you’re looking for credible sources to find royalty-free music, here are some of them:
Put Your Best Foot Forward!
If you’re striving to be as great as some of the most celebrated content creators in the market, educate yourself about the importance of copyright laws and, most importantly, the cost of violating them.
Need more help? Read our related posts for more insights into the world of music copyrights.