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How To Use Royalty Free Music To Keep Your Website And Videos Legal

Jan 19, 2008
Royalty free music is one of the safest kinds of music you can use on your website. It's designed to be used on websites, in videos and other productions with almost no restrictions. The only other safe option to use would be a track that you've written and performed yourself.

Almost all modern music is copyright. And this copyright is enforced ferociously by the record companies corporate lawyers. Which means that if you want to use it on your website, you will have to come to an arrangement with the owner of that copyright in order to use it - not the easiest thing to do as you have to track them down and then find out who handles this kind of copyright issue. Either that or be prepared for a "cease and desist" letter from their lawyer along with a demand for unpaid royalties. The "unpaid royalties" figure will be their best guess of what you are likely to owe and you can be certain that it won't be an underestimate - it will be up to you to prove any lower amount, Not the nicest thing to have happen to you.

It's a common misconception that if something is available on the internet, it's OK to use it on your website. People think this about pictures as well as music. But that's not true - everything published is automatically copyright unless the author specifically says otherwise - this happens nowadays mainly with open source software and even then there's usually some kind of agreement (often called copyleft). Only search engines like Google can get away with crawling your website and taking all your copyright material. And that's only because you want the traffic they can send back to your website in return!

Far and away the safest kind of sounds to use on your website or on your YouTube videos are called "royalty free" or sometimes "stock" or "buyout" music.

The author takes a one-off fee in return for you being able to use their work pretty much anywhere and any way you see fit. Although there's usually a restriction to stop you selling it unaltered - you normally have to modify it in some way. So it's fine to use the track behind your YouTube videos but you wouldn't be allowed to sell a CD with simply the royalty free music on it. Which is fair enough, otherwise the author would never get any money.

Once you've bought a track or CD in this manner, you can add it to your website and still be able to sleep at night. You can also use it to add variety to your YouTube videos, or in an amateur dramatic production, your own movie, CDs and DVDs you produce, and anything else you can think of.

There are all sorts of different tracks available from new age through to R'n'B, Hip Hop, jazz, country and any other musical genre you care to name. So you're bound to be able to get hold of something that fits the mood you want to recreate.
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Learn more about using royalty free music, what's available and where you cam purchase royalty free music for immediate download.
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