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FireMadeFlesh's avatar

What are the legalities of using music in original Youtube videos?

Asked by FireMadeFlesh (15678 points ) August 7th, 2014

At some stage I plan on making some Youtube videos. These will be much better if I am able to use music to fill sound gaps during transitions etc. Of course I would not use complete songs. What are the legal requirements in this scenario? Would I need to seek permission of the publisher? If I just do it, am I at risk of having the video removed?

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9 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

1) yes, you have to ask permission for all but the smallest snippets – like a second or two

2) if you just do it, the publisher can send Youtube a message and Youtube will take your video down. You can fight the takedown, but it’s unlikely you will win. Note that copyright owners have various automated systems that scan through all of Youtube, so there’s a good chance you would be found.

3) your best bet is to find some websites (there are a few such as this this is but one example ) that let you use their stuff.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@elbanditoroso Thanks. How do I contact the copyright holder? Would a message to their Youtube channel work, or do I have to find the record label’s PR department?

zenvelo's avatar

You can license music through BMI and ASCAP. Even sampling requires a license. Find out if the artist whose music you want to use is a BMI musician or an ASCAP musician, or work through LicenseMusicNow.

elbanditoroso's avatar

As @zenvelo said, go throught Ascap if the publisher is registered with them.

A lot of smaller artists (particularly local) aren’t.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Thanks all, I’ll be sure to go through the appropriate steps.

El_Cadejo's avatar

It’s been my experience with youtube that as long as you do not claim copyrights, give credit to the one who owns copyrights and don’t make money off the ads, the videos will stay up.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@El_Cadejo So I can use the music without seeking formal permission, but credit the artist in the video description?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh That’s what I’ve been doing lately and haven’t had anything removed.A few of my older videos however did have the soundtrack removed because I did not give credit to the artist or I had the video set to make profits from ads.

I’m sure if the artist or label saw it and had issue they could demand it taken down since permission wasn’t granted, but I haven’t experienced that.

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