Has any of your YouTube videos had their audio disabled due to an illegal song? Your video may turn into a silent film if you use copyrighted music owned by a record label. This doesn’t mean you have to add your own amateur instrumentals though. Here’s a few ways to find legal YouTube music for your videos.
If “All Rights Reserved is the devil, Creative Commons is the angel. The relatively new online copyright system lets you use music, images, and movies freely and legally. Many artists use the CC license to spread their music online, have their song show up on YouTube videos, and be available on uber popular free download sites like Too Good For Radio.
Not all Creative Commons licenses are the same. There are four different licenses that artists can choose from:
Attribution (Denoted as “by”) – anyone can share their work, provided they credit the artist.
Share Alike (“sa”) – others can use their work, allowing they provide the same license for others to use as well.
No Derivative Works (“nd”) – the song can only be used verbatim; no edits or cuts allowed.
Non-commercial (“nc”) – restricts songs to use in private videos; so no companies or users can profit from advertising with this song.
Here’s four free download sites that offer massive song archives, all of which are published under the Creative Commons license:
Free Music Archive – creative commons beats, loops, breaks, and instrumentals.
ccmixter – remixes, smaples, and mashups and a cappellas for download.
BeatPick – let BeatPick find music for you; describe your needs and receive a song in 24 hours.
Jamendo – boasts quarter of a million tracks.
Soundcloud to the Rescue
Soundcloud is the interactive music platform used by over 20 million listeners and artists. Soundcloud is “YouTube for music.” Every song track has different terms of rights and distribution allowance, ranging from non-embeddable to completely free distribution. You can do an advanced search on Soundcloud that only shows Creative Commons results for you to use free of charge or in exchange for a Facebook like.
Use a free Soundcloud song in your video and give credit to the artist in the About section or at the end of the video. Make sure to show the Creative Commons license that comes with the song. Here’s an example:
This video features the song “Babaaaaay” by The Jonas Sisters, available under a Creative Commons “Share Alike” License.
Let us know your method on finding free and legal YouTube music. And don’t say VIMEO, that’s cheating!+
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