What is copyright free music – Do we really need it?

Copyright-free music refers to a type of music license that allows the buyer to pay for the license once and be able to use it as many times as they want.

Here’s an example of what it is. You go to a Stock Music site to buy a license for a video that you want to put online. Once in the library, you search for the type of music you need using the filters offered by the search tool. Once the song is found, you select the license you need, i.e. a license for the web, social networks, commercial, TV or film. Then you pay for your license and you can use your song as many times as you want as long as you respect your license. So you pay only once but can use it as much as you want.


Is royalty free music copyrighted

Sometimes it can be very annoying to understand the difference between “Royalty Free” and “rights managed”. However, the first simply means “Free of Royalty” while the second means that the buyer pays the fees (Royalties) depending on the number of times the song will be used as well as the size of the territory. So, hence the question of whether the music is copyrithed, the answer is yes. To sum up, as long as someone creates music automatically, they have the copryright of the music. When we say free to use it does not mean that they are free of copyright.

The composer as the Copyright owner may want to receive his composers royalties for the public performance of his music. Even the recordings of Public Domain music are not Copyright Free. The composition may be Copyright Free but not the actual sound recording (also called the Master). You can consult this website pdinfo.com for more information.

Let’s clarify the other types of licenses: Public Domain and Creative Commons.

When you browse the web, you probably find that there were 2 other sources of free license. We are talking about Public Domain and Creative Commons here. You have to be careful with these two sources of music. Sometimes it even makes more sense to license royalty free music than using these sources.

Here is a simple explanation


Public Domain

We use the term public domain to describe music without copyright which is always free to use. Important things to note, public domain music must be released before 1923 or music specially distributed by the creator as public domain. Also, there isn’t a very large selection of public domain music and you may find it difficult to find interesting songs as a filmmaker.

However, why is it free?

Music that is considered public domain consists of all creations which are not protected by copyright and which can therefore be used without permission or without having to pay the original author.

What is extraordinary is that this music as a public domain can be copied, distributed, adapted, interpreted and used in public for free as if they belong to everyone.

What is important to remember is recording. We find two types of rights concerning sound recording. we are talking about the copyright of the composition and the rights of the composer.

Nobody owns the copyright of a song that is under public domain. This is why, it is better to make a new recording with its own interpretation to obtain the copyrights on this recording. So you will find the possibility of collecting rights on the recording of music under the public domain is possible with your own interpretation of a recording.


Creative Commons

When a song is protected by a Creative Commons license, it comes with some limitations. These limitations are established by the composer either for reproduction, distribution, distribution or even a copy of his own work.

Now that that is said, you must therefore mention the source when you use the song in your production. The correct way to cite the source is by using the term (“attributing”) with the name of the composer, the name of the song and a link to the song. You will probably find the way to credit the composer when you download it. So what are the conditions associated with a Creative Commons license:

  1. Attribution
  2. Non-Commercial
  3. No Derivate Works
  4. Share Alike

But what does that mean?

The attribution means that in any situation you must mention the name of the composer.

The condition of Non-Commercial simply means that you can use the song only for non-commercial purposes. So you can’t make money out of it or put it into commercial production.

No Derivative Works means that you cannot transform the song to use it in another form.

Finally, Share Alike authorizes you to create derivative products while maintaining the same license when disclosed.

That said, you can combine different variations of these conditions to form the license you are looking for.

Is there one better than the other?

Once you have determined which license you will use (Creative commons or royalty free music), you can start your project.

If you choose to go with the Creative Commons license, pay attention to the choice and what is included in the license. On the other hand, if you choose the royalty free music license, it means that you have made the choice to avoid copyright problems.

In the event that you are a big user, that is to say that you have a YouTube channel with a large audience, it will probably be easier to go with the royalty free music license.

Can royalty free music be used commercially

The answer is yes. In fact, Royalty Free Music licensing does not include “public performance” royalties. What are public performance royalties? Well, the royalties are paid to the composers when their music is performed publicly. For example, when a song is used as background music in a television show, royalties are paid to the composer. It is not the person who bought the song who is going to pay these rights. The rights will be pay by the network that is broadcasting the show where the music is performed like on television as background music. Performing Rights Organizations (PRO) like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SOCAN, PRS, etc. are being paid by the networks and are in charge of distributing the performing royalties to the music composers.

Is royalty free music bad

Many people tend to believe that music library of this type is lower quality music. However, that has nothing to do with the fact that it is royalty free music. There are libraries with music considered “cheap” poorly mixed or poorly recorded and others with professional quality. The quality will vary enormously from one library to the other. The price of music has nothing to do with quality. The choice of composer as well as the choice of songs has something to do with it. A Stock Music Library is a music library that offers music already in stock – already made and ready to license and use.

To start your exploration in royalty free music visit our library at Groove Bakery.

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