How to Use Music in Videos Legally Blog Post | FirstCom Music

Here’s the scenario: You want to make a great web-based promo for your small business. You learn a little about video editing, rent a pro-quality camera, and make an exceptional short film that showcases the reasons why your company is better than the competition. You add the music you like as the soundtrack and upload it to YouTube.

Suddenly, the video is taken down due to audio copyright issues. All that hard work and no one can view it. At FirstCom Music, we’ve heard many similar stories, so we put together this guide to help producers, editors, and content creators understand how to make sure your video won’t run into any audio copyright problems.

How to Legally Use Music in Videos

Though many laws seem complicated to many of us, it’s pretty easy to understand the legalese surrounding audio rights, at least when it comes to placing music in your work. Put simply; you can legally use music in videos if you have permission from the person, people, or company who owns the rights. Since the publisher and the record label usually hold music rights, you’ll have to get permission from both. From the publisher or composer, you’ll get a synchronization (or sync license). From the record label, you’ll obtain a master license (assuming the artist has a contract with a record label).

You can always use a soundtrack that you write and record yourself, though most video producers don’t have the musical skills, access to recording equipment, and time that it takes to create this.

How to Legally Use Copyrighted Music

Once you decide on the piece of music you’d like to use and get in touch with the rights holders, you’ll have to negotiate a licensing deal. Generally, there are two types of deals; pay-per-use, where you pay a small sum every time your video plays, and licenses that allow you unlimited use of audio for a given amount of time. Once you decide what type of deal works for your needs and agree on a price, you can then stream, broadcast, share, or post your videos without fear of running into any audio copyright issues.

How to Get Permission to Use a Song

So how exactly do you ask for permission to use a song? If the audio you desire was written by a relatively unknown artist on a small record label, it might be possible to reach out to them directly. Of course, if you’re a small-time producer and you want to use a chart-topping single, you’ll probably have to shell out a good chunk of money if you can get through to the rights holders at all. The best way to obtain permission to use a song is to find your audio through a site specializing in selling music rights for video production.

Licensing music from a reputable source will ensure that you have the right to stream and distribute your project. FirstCom Music is an industry leader with 40 years of experience and thousands of songs placed in everything from web clips to major motion pictures. We make music licensing easy, even for first-time content creators and producers. Browse our extensive libraries today or speak to a member of our team via Live Chat to find out more.

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