How to know if a song is copyrighted?

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Listen to music it is undoubtedly one of the best possible pastimes. Beyond the preferred genre, relax and disconnect from the work routine or intense study immersing ourselves in music production of the artists we appreciate the most helps to restore benefit to the body and mind.

Many times it happens that some of these songs hit us so much by want to reuse them for our purposes. For example, if you want to make a video greeting (for a birthday, a wedding or more) here is the movie it certainly becomes more beautiful with an exciting piece.

However, before we get ready to carry out this procedure we must do a lot of attention to a very important detail. The song is protected by copyright or can I use it without problems in my video?

This is the question each of us should ask before proceeding, given that failure to comply with the rules in force on the internet can lead to very uncomfortable situations.

The answer to this question may seem all too simple: almost all existing music is protected by copyright , and a simple Google search may be enough to find out if a particular song has the copyright or not.

However, there are three modes which allow us to use songs on the Internet without worrying about copyright. If the song is from public domain , for example, but also if the song is below Creative Commons licenses . Finally, the piece in question could also be copyright free , and this would allow us to use it freely.


The songs in the public domain are mainly older ones, which can be used without worrying about copyright and the like. For example, the probability of a song released over 70 years ago both in the public domain is very high indeed. However, in order not to run into those unpleasant situations we referred to earlier, it is better to check to have maximum safety and act without worry.

Concrete help can come from the website PDInfo , which makes available a long list with all the songs in the public domain. If there is also the piece in question, we can sleep peacefully.


How to understand if the song we are interested in has a Creative Commons license? Usually all the pieces downloaded from websites they make available free royalty-free music they are characterized by one of these (numerous) licenses.

To be sure, just go to the download site and carefully read the section on licenses: a very useful step also for know the type of restrictions present in case of use.


Finally, the third case that allows us to publish songs by our favorite artists in one of our videos is copyright exemption (probably the preferred option).

These are songs that are not very famous, despite being characterized by a good quality level, which has nothing to envy to the best known and most popular songs (which are certainly protected by copyright, ed).

How can I download these songs? A good site certainly is Epidemic Sound , which we will talk about later.


A question that many users ask themselves is whether it is possible check for any copyright exemption of a song also on YouTube.

Indeed, until relatively recently the famous platform made this functionality available. It was enough to go on the Norms section to find out if we could have the “green light” in using a certain song.

YouTube, at the moment, has discontinued this service, it is the advice that is provided by the platform to make sure you are not having problems upload your own video without however publishing it directly. YouTube, in fact, suggests that set it as private or hidden in such a way as to bring out possible infringements before it is published.

This way, if any copyright notice appears once you put the video in hidden or private mode, it will be better to modify it again and change the background music.

Either way, the best advice is to do not put at risk the video or project using songs that do not guarantee full security. A superficial approach to this aspect can expose us not just to the block or the monetization of our video by another person – which can be the author or the record company – but it can also lead us to have problems from a legal point of view .


How to do, therefore, to have the maximum peace of mind using background music in your videos? The answer is very simple, which is to use royalty-free music , which allows you to always comply with copyright guidelines.

A good alternative, moreover free, is to use the audio library YouTube. On this section of the music streaming platform it is in fact possible to have thousands of royalty-free songs of many different genres, which we will be able to download without problems.

Previously, the so-called attribution . What does it mean? Long story short, if you were going to use that particular song or sound effect, you were asked to explain in the video description who was the author of the song used. A requirement that fortunately is no longer present.

But what if you want to use this video outside of Youtube? Clearly not allowed use this music outside the famous platform, but there is an alternative way.


How can I use high quality music for commercials, video games, radio, television or even movies? The solution consists in acquiring the relevant licenses , and the user can have two modes.

One of the two best options is Epidemic Sound , which we mentioned earlier. It is a platform dedicated to royalty-free music distribution , capable of making available to users a library with over 300,000 songs.

Epidemic Sound has decided to launch on the market a monthly subscription directed to any vlogger or Youtuber, which allows you to take advantage of a number of aspects really very interesting. An example is access to hundreds of thousands of tracks, but also the guarantee of a number of new songs added every week.

In addition, with Epidemic Sound you have them available unlimited downloads , no copyright and full monetization of your videos.

Another good option is Envato Elements , where we can find thousands of songs and sound effects (classified by genres) at a very affordable price: 14.50 euros per month for one year.


Finally, YouTube gives us a hand in verifying if a particular song is protected by copyright, thanks to the ability to upload our videos in hidden or private mode. Plus, it makes things easier when it comes to trying to get free music.

However, in case our goal is to access quality music without ever having any kind of problem when using background music, it is best to purchase a monthly subscription to one of the two services mentioned above.

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