How to find out if a song is copyrighted: Are you an aspiring artist or content creator stuck in the infinite loop of copyright claims? They sure can be annoying, especially when you’ve poured your heart and soul into creating content you’re sure your audience will engage with, only for it to be of no avail. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to confirm whether a piece of music was copyrighted before you incorporated it in your work?
In essence, a vast majority of music is copyrighted. However, here’s a rather critical question at your disposal: Once you know how to find out if a song is copyrighted, how can you use it legally?
In this post, we aim to not only answer this but many other questions by exploring some of the most practical tips.
So don’t stop yet and keep reading!
How Can I Know If a Song Is Copyrighted?
Fortunately, there are several ways to know the answer to this million-dollar question. We will explain below each one of them, step by step so you can continue producing and sharing great content your audience will love.
Step 1: Go to PD INFO-The One Stop Solution to Your Copyright Dilemmas
PD Info or the Public Domain Information Project allows you to check the list of Public Domain Songs. All you have to do is type the song’s name in the search box. If you find it there, viola! It isn’t copyrighted, and you can use it in any capacity you like.
However, here’s the deal. It often takes six to seven decades after the author’s death for a song to become available to the public domain. This does manage to raise some questions on the authenticity of the information available on the platform; but regardless, it’s the safest bet for you.
Step 2: Use YouTube
YouTube is not only the leading video sharing website or the most visited online platform across the globe, but it’s also the ultimate tool to verify whether a song is copyrighted or not, and here’s why. YouTube is bound to comply with several legal requirements when it comes to music copyrights.
This means that the vast majority of tracks uploaded on it often go through a thorough process to identify if the music is being used illegally. Google’s Content ID not only looks for song copyrights published on YouTube but also goes further to look into content much older than the platform itself. Here are some ways you can use it to find out the copyright details for a track.
Pay Attention to the Video Description
We hate to be “captain obvious,” but here’s a common mistake you may be making while looking for videos on YouTube. You may be skipping the video description, which by default has information about song tracks used anywhere in the content. So, here’s the deal. If you search for a certain song on YouTube and come across similar information in the video description, then the song is copyrighted for sure.
Who wants to go through the headache of receiving and dealing with strikes from YouTube for copyright infringement? Here’s where privacy truly becomes power. By uploading your videos hidden or in private, you can learn the status of copyright without causing an uproar. Once you’re successfully able to upload a video with the associated song privately, just take a seat and relax! The latter part of the work will be done by the Content ID algorithm.
Here’s More From Captain Obvious!
How to find out if a song is copyrighted? If the question is still messing with your head, you may want to look somewhere you may never have looked before.
Here’s the good news. Finding out whether a song is copyrighted or uncopyrighted is not always a complicated process. Some solutions are pretty straight forward such as:
- Spotting the Copyright Mark
The quest becomes pretty obvious if you see the copyright symbol right next to a song you wish to use after downloading. Of course, it’s still important to distinguish the copyright mark from the Creative Commons licensing symbol.
- Understanding the Law of the Land
Every country has specific copyright infringement rules. Becoming familiar with the law of the land will help you avoid infringing instances altogether.
- Unable to do It on Your Own? Hire an Expert
While this should be kept as your last resort, hiring copyright experts can help you get out of the pickle – but of course, at some cost.
Let’s say you find this perfect piece of music that goes just right with your content. However, upon researching, you may find out that it’s protected by copyright laws. Do you give up on it? Of course not. Copyrighted music can still be incorporated into your work if you follow the given steps:
- Find out whether this copyrighted song requires permission
- Find out who the original owner is
- Identify what rights the song requires
- Speak to the owner directly and get the payment negotiated
- Make sure to get permission to use the song in writing
Get Your Creative Juices to Work!
Remember, the key to using music in your work successfully has to do with a bunch of factors such as the genre, speed, and volume. However, all of it can conveniently go to waste if you haven’t taken the track’s music copyrights into consideration.
Unless you’re willing to face financial penalties and serious legal issues, you must not overlook them under any circumstances. In the end, avoiding setbacks is the only way to have the peace of mind you desire when it comes to incorporating musical elements into your work.