28 Feb How to know if a song is copyrighted?
Although practically all the music on the market is under copyright or copyright, there are some cases where you can find music without them. In most cases, these rights depend on the use you are going to give a song.
For example, suppose you upload a video that contains a song to YouTube without knowing whether or not it is free of copyright. In that case, it can lead to consequences such as the deletion of the video or the blocking of the account. But when we talk about using music for cases like the background music of an establishment, the results of the infringement can be legal and serious for your pocket. However, there are exceptional cases.
How to know if a song is copyrighted?
As for these exceptions, there are cases in which you can use certain music or song and in which you can get rid of assuming the cost of Copyright rights. Exclusively personal use is one of these cases. It is about the music that you can listen to at home, on your Smartphone or even that which you add to a home video for personal use and enjoyment, as long as it is not going to be used for monetary purposes.
But with educational or commercial use, it is different. In the same way, as if it is cased in which you add music to a video that you will later publish on platforms such as YouTube. In these cases, we must be very careful with the use of music and know how to distinguish it so as not to commit infractions in this area. But…
A very reliable way to find out if a song is royalty-free for use is from YouTube. In the Music Policies section, in the search engine that appears on this YouTube page, you can add any song title. Right below, you will see all the information about the rights related to that song. Within all the information offered by this means, you will find:
The countries in which the reproduction of that song is allowed, in any of its forms. This means the original song or any version of it. Some of the countries in which your video, with that song, cannot be played are Germany or Switzerland. These countries specifically have very restrictive policies in this regard.
Another option that will appear is the possibility that the song’s original author can earn money by playing advertisements on your video.
But this information about the songs we do not always find on YouTube. There are exceptions, cases in which YouTube has not collected this type of information in some songs. For these cases, the alternative is to carry out a more exhaustive investigation.
For this research, some data that can help you clarify the unknown are that if the song is more than 70 years old, there are many possibilities in the public domain, and you can use it without any problem. A website that can be very useful to know this information is pdinfo.com, where you will find a huge list of songs in the public domain.
How do you know that a song is in the public domain?
Beyond these recognition platforms, there are some features that these types of songs fulfill, which can help us to identify works in the public domain. As we say, one of them is that it has more than 70 years old. To find out, we must know the dates of birth and death of its author in order to determine it. Once 70/80 years have passed since his death, the work is in the public domain. However, this number of years depends on the country and its legislation. So the country of birth of said author is also important.
If, after learning of his death, you are not sure, the next recourse is to contact the heirs or locate the company that carried out the publication of the work. You can also go to the intellectual property registers and find information about the song you want to use in particular.
But if you come across a song that you are not very clear about and with which you are not very sure, it is best not to risk using it. Since not only do you risk blocking your video or that someone else receives money for it, but you can get into legal problems and have to pay monetary fines.
What can you do to prevent this from happening?
The best option of all is to use royalty-free music, also known as royalty-free music. Through its use, you can rest assured, making sure you are complying with copyright rules. For these cases, there are free alternatives such as the Youtube Audio Library, where you can download countless royalty-free songs from a large number of genres.
What if you must take into account the “Attribution.” This means that if you use that song, you are obliged to add the original author of the music you are using in the description of the video. By means of a phrase similar to this:
Royalty-free music for a commercial project
There are payment alternatives for cases in which you need another type of music with higher quality, which you can use for commercial videos or radio and television. This alternative is also plausible for cases where you don’t want to attribute the author of the music you are using to your work. Ultimately, it is about acquiring the corresponding licenses for its use.
In this case, the best thing is to subscribe to platforms such as Free Music Projects, with which you will have a lot of benefits and services with your subscription.