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The Official Blog from | 'Copyright'

10 Myths and Misconceptions about using music in YouTube videos

youtube_banner posted on 19/03/2014

Today’s inspired generation is creating content via their webcam, mobile phone and media streaming devices to deliver their own unique content for broadcast online. However, one stumbling block that continually seems to trip up the masses is the issue of music copyright.

This article provides further information on common myths and misconceptions relating to music copyright to provide education, advice and solutions for those who need/want to use music in their content.

1. As long as you credit the creator/source of music online, you’re free to use it how you wish.


This has never been the case and was only loosely used before the days of copyright ID matching to claim defence that the user was not intentionally claiming the music as their own. Crediting the music creator/owner does not grant you automatic clearance to use their music for your own project.

2. I asked for permission to use their music, therefore I can use it freely


This depends on the content and publisher. You may have asked someone involved in a band or group if you can use their music in your content, and they’ve said yes as it provides additional publicity and exposure. However, if that band is signed with a label, chances are their publisher will not allow any other commercial use without a ‘sync fee’ or royalties and if you post it to YouTube they’ll claim copyright ownership and your content is flagged and/or removed.

3. I acquired the music from a free music resource online, so it’s free to use


There are so many reasons why using ‘free music’ is a bad idea. You have to consider logically why someone would take the time to create a music track for it to be given away free. I’ve already written an article on using free music here. The two main factors concerning free music are:

  • Who is distributing the music, how do you know they’re legally covered to offer the music and what evidence is provided alongside the music to cover you?
  • If it’s genuinely free, what’s the catch? Most likely, the catch is the owner of the music is signed up with YouTube to earn AdShare Revenue on any content that uses their music, which means you get third party ads played before and alongside your video content and, if you’re enrolled as a partner to monetize your content, guess who gets all the advertising revenue? The owner of the free music ID matched in your video!

4. I’m using a classical piece of music, like Beethoven, Mozart or Chopin. It’s out of copyright and I’m free to use it


It’s true, many classical music works are out of copyright, which means you can get an orchestra together and perform the symphony, concerto or whatever classical piece you wish. But you can’t use other people’s recordings! A common misconception with classical music is you can use any recording of a classical piece. This is not true. Whoever owns the recording of that piece of music, owns the copyright. The actual sheet music itself may be out of copyright due to the period of time after the composer’s death, but this only permits re-recording, or re-performance of the music. Those who record and produce a physical recording own that recording.

So, getting back to the original scenario, if you’d like to hire an orchestra and a conductor to perform any classical music piece that’s out of copyright, you can legally make a recording of this and use it in your content… or license it from someone else such as Symphonic Orchestra, who performed and recorded many classical works to make them available for licensing.

5. Copyright Free Music means you don’t have to pay to use it


Copyright Right Free music is available to license for use in your projects without copyright being claimed against you. Put simply, it is music created for the sole purpose of licensing to the end user (you) for use in your project for an agreed fee. We produce copyright free music for YouTube videos so users can license affordable music to use in their content without running into copyright issues with YouTube’s ID system. What’s more, if anyone claims copyright to the music in your video, licensed from we will vigorously defend you and have the claim quashed.

6. Royalty Free Music is free music


The clue is in the title. Royalty free music is music that can be licensed, free of royalties. There are countless articles and detailed explanations both in our article: What Is Royalty Free Music and on Wikipedia.

In summary, before royalty free music existed, any music used commercially would be subject to ‘royalties’ being owed to artists and composers of the music. Royalty Free Music Libraries like now exist to provide affordable music licensing for small and large projects.

Content creators can license any royalty free music track for a fraction of the cost to use a commercial piece of music, which then gives them a license to use that track legally, and without fear of copyright infringement.

7. I bought a commercial music CD, I can use it as background music


By law, when you purchase a music CD, or a download via iTunes or similar digital platform you’re granted the rights to listen to the music for personal use only. That’s it. You can’t perform it publically without a public performance license, and you can’t use it in any content you produce. You can purchase a sync fee from the publisher to use a commercial piece of music, but this will cost tens of thousands of pounds/dollars.

8. Using the music in a personal/none-profit/none-commercial/charitable project is free


The intended use of your project has no bearing on your permitted usage of a commercial music track. You cannot use another artist’s music for free in your own content no matter what you are producing. Aside from potential lost revenue, you may be using music from an artist to support your video that strongly disagrees with that artist’s political, personal or morale views. Only by licensing royalty free music from a library like, can you be fully covered to use music in your project.

9. The owner of the music recording is dead, therefore it’s public domain and free to use


General copyright laws exist in the UK and USA to protect the intellectual property of a recording until 70 years after the owner’s death, usually with rights residing with either family members or music publisher. For a list of countries and their copyright periods, click here. In some cases, publishers, record labels and family can request an extension to the copyright period. More information on intellectual property in the UK can be found on Intellectual Property Office website.

10. Public Domain Music is free to use


Similar to classical music, the music itself i.e. sheet music/composition is in the public domain to perform and record, but the recording itself may be subject to copyright by the owner of the recording. For example, PD Info is a website that provides information on Public Domain songs. Here, you can view what songs are in the public domain for you to sing, perform, record etc. However, anyone who performs and records a public domain song owns the copyright to their recording. For example, we performed and created recordings of popular Christmas Music that was in the public domain and offer them to end users to license for use in their projects. Music Library provides hassle-free, cost effective royalty free music licensing for use in any project. Our Standard License covers a huge range uses, from personal to corporate. You can license and download any music track instantly, providing users and content creators with an invaluable resource of copyright free music at your finger tips.

Want help finding the perfect music track? Have further queries about licensing? Contact Us for immediate help and advice. View more useful articles on music licensing below.

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Disputing Copyright Content ID Claims

youtube_content_id posted on 29/08/2014

YouTube and Vimeo both use an automated Content ID system to identify and claim copyright on behalf of its clients to ensure their music is not exploited, used without permission or monetized by others. This system is fair for commercial music artists and musicians to ensure people do not use their music without authorisation… when it works.

The ongoing problem with the Content ID system is false copyright claims, multiple claimants and the treatment of those accused of copyright infringement.

Many YouTubers, or professional content creators who use YouTube and Vimeo as their main outlet use royalty free music, stock music or copyright free music as an alternative to using commercial music.

By using this music, licensed from a production music library like, they can pay a one-time licensee fee to use the music in their content without incurring additional royalties, fees or infringe on any copyright.

Another important advantage of using royalty free music, copyright free music etc, is the right to monetize content on YouTube.

Licensing royalty free music is not free. Content creators pay a license fee or “sync fee” to use the music in their project to avoid copyright infringement, and the right to monetize their content via the Google Ad Revenue scheme.

So when third party claimants make a claim on their video claiming copyright infringement, it’s understandably frustrating when all necessary measures have been taken to avoid such issues. When a video receives a copyright strike, it can be muted, taken offline, or left unchanged but all Ad Revenue goes to the copyright claimant and not the creator.

What is the process for disputing a Content ID Copyright Claim?

If you have licensed the music from a production music library, as royalty free music or copyright free music etc and paid a license fee/sync fee then any such claim should be invalid and we recommend you dispute the claim via the YouTube or Vimeo process. However, this can take a long time due to the number of claims and disputes filed and the resources available to pursue each claim. We do recommend filing a dispute and contacting the library you licensed the music from for assistance.

You can also dispute a claim directly with the claimant. Some organisations make it difficult to access their contact information or relevant departments and prefer to leave it up to the YouTube dispute process. However, if you’ve licensed the music and have the right to use it on YouTube without hindrance then you have the right to contact them directly and request the claim be lifted. Here are contact details for known Copyright Content ID Claimants:


You can file a claim via their website here. You’ll receive a ticket confirming your request has been received. You can also try contacting:


AdShare don’t have a facility to contact them regarding a claim via their website. But you can contact Randy Williams, Head of Operations via or contact the main office at


Believe Digital also made it very hard to contact regarding copyright claims they had made on music used on content. Try contacting Elliot Tristam, Youtube Digital Rights Manager via There’s also a new, general contact for YouTube related inquiries:

Want to contact YouTube about Copyright directly? Here's the relevant contact info:

DMCA Complaints
YouTube (Google, Inc.)
901 Cherry Avenue
Second Floor
San Bruno, CA 94066
+1 650 214 6064

Here are some other useful related articles about YouTube including how to file a dispute and further advice on how to avoid copyright claims:

Further questions or queries? Have you received a copyright content ID claim on music you've licensed from our library? Contact us for more information and immediate assistance.

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Free Instrumental Music

posted on 12/12/2013

While we don’t provide free instrumental music without charge, we do provide a huge selection of royalty free instrumental music for immediate download and license. This means you can grab any of our music tracks and pay a one-time, single license fee to use that with your project. Whether you need music for YouTube, or a corporate video project, you’ll find the right track from our royalty free instrumental music collection. Sample one of our favourite tracks below:

Royalty free instrumental music is important for projects such as YouTube videos, where you need legally cleared music for use online. If you’re producing online content to monetize via YouTube, you’ll need to license music that is royalty free, or copyright free. If you do not license copyright free instrumental music you may lose out on monetizing your content by:

  • The copyright holder of the music will receive the money from the ads placed alongside your content
  • YouTube may have an agreement with the copyright holder of the music you have used to prevent it being uploaded and you video could be removed with your account being banned.

It’s imperative you license copyright free music from to ensure you can exploit the content you have created, without restriction. Read more on related subjects, including:

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Royalty Free Instrumental Music – What, How and Why?

posted on 26/11/2013

Royalty Free Instrumental Music

A simple, cost effective and practical solution for adding background music to projects such as corporate videos or any video for YouTube without infringing on copyrighted music and confusing viewers with unrelated lyrics. Check out a simple video showcasing a hotel below using a relaxing royalty free instrumental music track:

Instrumental music is music without any singing or vocals. Some instrumental music can include short vocals that make up the structure and sound of the music, but instrumental music tracks generally don’t contain any singing. When working with video projects, editors often require background music to accompany the on-screen visuals. This background music will be relative to the content and theme of the video, but not intended to distract the viewer from the content and message.

So why not use an instrumental version of a popular chart track?

It’s understandable that some popular chart music would work very well for some projects but to legally use a commercial music track, whether with or without the vocals you have to pay the artist royalties to use their intellectual property, or IP. This can be very costly, involve a lot of paperwork and recurring fees each time the content is played.

Royalty free instrumental music from is designed to provide a cost effective, practical solution for those needing high quality music with quick and easy licensing. Users can browse over 5,000 music tracks and preview each one before purchase. We stock music across a wide range of genres from corporate music to feel good pop rock.

When you license music from you pay a single fee to download and use the music, and you can reuse again and again. Our standard license covers a huge range of uses, check out our license tool below:

royalty free instrumental music

We also provide licensing for thousands of royalty free sound effects to give your projects the edge. Just like our music, you can license sound effects royalty free to use in your content.

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Royalty Free Music For YouTube - What, Why and How?

posted on 25/11/2013

Royalty Free Music For YouTube

Everyone is making video content for YouTube, whether it’s personal content featuring friends and family, or professional brands and companies promoting their products and services online. YouTube provides an incredibly easy platform to instantly share your video content with the world. With easy access to video editing software such as iMovie, anyone can create a video, add titles and music and upload for the world to see.

Whether a personal video, or professional video if you’re going to include background music you need to ensure you license it legally. Find out more about royalty free background music here.

Royalty free music for YouTube is a quick, simple and cost-effective solution to licensing legally cleared music for use in your content. You can’t use someone else’s music in your video unless you either pay royalties, a sync fee or you accept third party copyright is owned by someone else and you content can be subject to adverts being placed alongside your video.

This may not matter if it’s a video of friends having fun but if you’re a professional company, with a brand and reputation you don’t want third party adverts promoting potentially competitive products alongside your own product videos.

Why is royalty free music for YouTube important?

You need to license legally cleared music for use in your YouTube videos to avoid:

  • Copyright infringement and removal of your content
  • Paying royalties to artists and sync fees to distributors
  • Being sued by copyright holders
  • Being banned from YouTube
  • Unable to monetize your content
  • Accepting third party adverts placed before, during and alongside your videos

Put simply, unless you have created the music yourself, you don’t have the right to use it for anything other than personal listening. That’s why has royalty free music for YouTube that is affordable and easy to access. We have over 5,000 unique music tracks available for immediate download.

Start off by sampling our corporate music or uplifting background music or jump into our latest music releases. See an example of our music used in a YouTube video.

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Vimeo Copyright ID Match

Vimeo Copyright ID Match posted on 28/05/2014

Vimeo has adopted a Copyright ID Match similar to YouTube for matching copyrighted music and video in your content.

Vimeo undoubtedly attracted many content producers based on its high quality video encoding and no hassle approach to publishing content, which is great. It also focused on self-produced content and strongly steered users away from uploading content from TV shows, movies and games.

This led Vimeo to become a professional platform for content producers to publish high quality video and audio. In maintaining these standards, Vimeo has introduced a Copyright ID Match that has, in their words: “been lovingly crafted to flag videos that may infringe the copyrights of others before they (the videos) appear on Vimeo.”

How Will This Effect You

As a content producer, you need to ensure you have the rights to include any music or video featured in your content. Music can be acquired in a variety of ways, most common is either expressed permission from the musician/artist, or licensed as copyright free music from a royalty free music library like

With the introduction of the Copyright ID Match, content producers may find their content being flagged by Vimeo’s automated system, in a similar style to YouTube, causing frustration, complication and lengthy appeal processes. The Copyright ID Match is in place to substitute the Vimeo team having to review each and every video individually to see if permission or license was granted to use the music/video in question.

YouTube content producers will know firsthand, the difficulties involved in submitting an appeal against their content to remove flags and get their content cleared. Vimeo has promised a “robust and friendly appeal process: so that members have an opportunity to explain why their use of a copyrighted work isn’t infringing.”

How to Ensure Your Content is Cleared

Vimeo outlines how you can appeal the Copyright ID Match here, but you need to make sure you’ve used cleared music to start with. When licensing royalty free music, or copyright free music from, you receive a license agreement that can be submitted in any Copyright ID claim/appeal. This document, along with your license receipt outlines your license to use the music track in question.

As a royalty free music library, we are not enrolled in any partnership scheme with content networks to claim copyright on music used in content published to YouTube or Vimeo. Therefore, any music track you license is fully cleared for use online via any online platform.

Music provided ‘free’ or for next to nothing from other online music libraries may be enrolled in such schemes online to gain additional revenue from advertising partnerships etc. Check out related articles on free music and more below:

Royalty free music licensed from is highly unlikely to receive any Copyright ID Matches, and in the event of any track being flagged in your content, you have all necessary documentation in your account to appeal and have it removed.

For those using music provided by artists/musicians with permission to use, it’s always good practice to get something in writing specifically stating the song and granted permission for you to use it. If the content is flagged, you can easily submit this information. Vimeo provides more information on how to get correct documentation for permission-use music here.

What about Private Videos on Vimeo

It’s good to see Vimeo understands their users, and accepts many professionals host videos in production to demo to clients before approval or licensing of music has been finalised. So at this time, the Copyright ID Match does not apply to private videos on your account for Pro and Plus holders.

In Summary

If you’re not licensing music that is cleared such as royalty free or copyright free production music then it’s going to get a little sticky for you. If you’re correctly licensing music, or have permission to use a track you may run into a flag from time to time depending on the content you’re using. But, if you obtain the necessary documentation (as provided with all music from our library) then you shouldn’t encounter any long-term issues, and appeal processes should be relatively painless.

Further info on music licensing for online videos can be found in our article; “10 Myths and Misconceptions about using music in YouTube videos” which tells you everything you need to know about using music in your content and applies to videos published on any platform.

Have a query on licensing music? Get in touch; we’re happy to provide further info. Tweet us, or join us on Facebook.

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YouTube Copyright Match ID System Still Broken

YouTube Is Broken posted on 05/06/2014

There’s nothing more compelling than firsthand experience to remind you that things don’t really change, despite promises and reassurances. While there’s additional revenue to be sought from online content, 3rd party copyright claimants will flag your content and attempt to claim copyright using YouTube’s flawed music recognition system.

Whilst gearing up for the coming World Cup 2014 tournament in Brazil, we took to YouTube to share some of our favourite tunes. Upon posting our content, one piece was immediately incorrectly flagged to be something else, and therefore matched 3rd party copyright.

In this scenario, we immediately dispute the claim and contact the claimant directly. We also follow this procedure on behalf of any client licensing music from our library if they ever encounter such a claim. However, during this process, any content creators looking to monetize their content will notice they can no longer generate revenue from their content during the dispute, and those who are not enrolled in any monetization scheme may notice 3rd party adverts that could prove detrimental to their content’s aim or objective.

The dispute process is still long-winded, slow and treats the user as the criminal, in the wrong with the threat of their account being terminated if their dispute is wrong. When the dispute process is eventually filed through tick-boxes and statements, the review and possible lift of the claim can take anywhere from days, to weeks to be resolved.

It seems wrong that YouTube is treating its primary content producers in this manner. After all, the video platform is built on user-submitted content but now seems more focussed on delivering pre-roll ads and pop up ads rather than quality content.

Until recently, high quality content producers flocked to alternative video sharing platform, Vimeo to host their content without concern for an automated and broken copyright flagging system. However, recent news that Vimeo has adopted its own copyright match ID system means content Vimeo users could also experience the same headache.

We've also written several other articles to keep you informed about how to use music in your YouTube content, and stay ahead of copyright strikes:

If you found this article useful, please share it and pass on this info to others.

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YouTube False Copyright ID Claims by Third Parties

posted on 21/11/2013

All music licensed from is cleared for use online and licensed to you, the client by our library. It has come to our attention in recent weeks that several third party companies and organisations have lay claim to music used in videos online. Organisations such as Believe Digital have claimed they own the copyright to a specific music track licensed by our library. The resulting claim can lead to one or more of the following circumstances:

  • The content is blocked and removed from YouTube
  • The content is allowed, but adverts are placed on top of and alongside your video
  • Earnings for monetized content is passed straight to the claimant and Adsense users no longer receive earnings for their content.
  • Content creators are banned from uploading further content to YouTube and their channel is deleted.

This has affected many YouTube content producers who create content, license music and publish online either for corporate presentation online, or as a way to generate revenue from highly consumable content.

Unfortunately, the automated content ID system implemented by YouTube and used by third party companies is causing erroneous and false claims on content using music licensed legally by production music libraries. This causes fear and doubt by content creators that they have paid for something they cannot use, and do not wish to face legal action of copyrighted content.

We have corresponded with several production music libraries to identify and address third party copyright claims to retract their claim and in all cases, neither the client nor music library is at fault. We work closely with our composers and clients to ensure the music we license to you, is copyright free, and fully cleared to use online.

If you encounter any copyright ID claims on music licensed from our library, you need to contest this claim via YouTube to alert their system this is a false claim. This can be quick and easy. However, in some cases, third party claimants like Believe Digital have such a backlog of copyright disputes, they don’t review the claim and instead, content creators are left with content they cannot monetize, or even publish online.

This is wrong, and unfair.

Contact us with details of the copyright claim, providing as much information as you can, and a screenshot of the warning page and we’ll work for you to contact those responsible.

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YouTube Improving Music Copyright Content ID System

youtube_content_id_header posted on 20/03/2014

YouTube has openly addressed the issues surrounding its hugely floored copyright content ID system to reassure content creators that measures are being made to ensure fewer errors are made.

When their new content ID matching system was brought in late last year, thousands of videos and clips were disappearing from the platform due to copyright content claims by third parties over content, in particular music, being used in videos and matched as owned by someone else. This spawned several major problems:

1. Users were being told their content featured copyright content and it was flagged or removed entirely

2. Content creators could no longer earn AdRevenue from their content due to the claim against their video, so even if still live, the user made no money from it

3. False claims came into place whereby copyright claims were being made by organisations and rights holders who had no actual claim to the music

4. The dispute process to resolve the issue/claim was pointless and took longer than ever so even if users had correctly licensed music from a reputable source, it could take weeks to have the flag/strike against them, removed

As a royalty free music library, specialises in licensing copyright free music for YouTube content, and any claim that was made against our client’s music use was immediately quashed.

YouTube has now sent a letter to its members addressing the issues and concerns relating to its copyright content ID system, stating it’s aware of the failings and plans to offer a much improved service. One area of focus would be to insure copyright claimants claim correctly, and not on content they do not actually own:

“We’ve been working with them to help them clarify who owns what, for example in game soundtracks, so we can disable any outdated Content ID references. We are also requiring certain rights-holders to perform in-depth audits of their references before they can make any new claims.”

Which makes sense to deter claims on content by claimants who don’t actually have a right to claim against it, while penalising the content creator in the process for something they may not be at fault for.

This of course doesn’t change the rules of using music for YouTube. Users will still need to acquire copyright free, or royalty free music for their projects to ensure no claims are made against them.

Overall, this is YouTube acknowledging the recent farce relating to their copyright content ID system and addressing key issues for their content providers, and hopefully offering a much more transparent and reliable service, rather than penalising everyone first and leaving them to sort out the mess. You can view the full letter YouTube sent out, here.

If you have licensed music from our library and had a claim made against your content on YouTube, contact us immediately and we will pursue this for you.

Further reading on this subject can be seen at:

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