Finding Out Whether A Song is Copyrighted!

Finding a suitable song for your YouTube video can be difficult. But what’s more difficult is making sure you are not violating any copyrights while using that song.

The world wide web is brimming with high-quality, copyrighted songs that attract other creators but should not be used without permission. In the entire process, creators need to check for copyright clauses while using any music from the internet.

This blog discusses tips on how to check for copyright music and how to beware while using music from the internet.

Table of Content

● Is All Music Copyrighted?
● How to Check if a Song on YouTube is Copyrighted?
● How to Check if a Song on Instagram and Facebook is Copyrighted?
● How to Know if a Song on Twitch is Copyrighted?
● Can I Only Use a Portion of a Song?
● Can I Use a Cover of a Popular Song?
● What Happens if I Use Copyrighted Music Without Permission?
● Best Bet: Get Royalty-Free Music from Beatoven
● Conclusion

Is All Music Copyrighted?

Copyrighted music means that only the creator of the track has the rights to create and use copies of the said music piece. However, these rights can become more flexible if and when the creator chooses to extend a song’s rights.

Speaking of the present day, almost every musical piece, sound effect, song or track is copyrighted.

Copyright helps creators hold authority on how they want their content to be treated on the web. There are primarily three types of licensed songs available on the web.

Public Domain Music

Public domain music is free for everyone and anyone to use for any purpose. Mostly, these are tracks that artists have not copyrighted. Creators can include public domain tracks in their videos without the threat of receiving a copyright claim or the fear of their videos being demonetized.

However, as these tracks are open in the public domain, every other creator has the right to use these tracks in their content repeatedly. As a result, these tracks may often seem overused. Plus, only a limited number of public domain songs are available, and new tracks are rarely published.

Music with Creative Commons License

A creative commons license allows artists to define usage, copying and distribution rights regarding their artworks.

Other creators can use songs that are copyrighted under the creative commons license after some modifications. However, including a song with creative commons license in your video will not give you the complete claim to this piece. The creator will still reserve the rights.

This license makes the music reusable in different manners on the web while also giving credit to the original creator.

Royalty Free Music

Royalty-free music consists of tracks which’s usage, and limited copyrights can be purchased by creators through a one-time payment. After this purchase, the creator can use the track or sound effect for as long as they desire.

This is the most preferred type of licensed music creators use in their YouTube videos and filmmaking projects.

However, one must note that, even after a user purchases a track, its core rights stay with the track’s creator, while the user can use it freely in their content.

Can I use Copyrighted Music?

Yes, you can use copyrighted music under some terms and conditions.

To use a copyrighted track, song or sound effect, you must obtain formal permission from the producer or label who created the track. But before that, you must be aware of the type of license the song falls under.

Many times, the music of your choice may have strict copyright clauses restricting its re-recording, modifications and distributions of any sort. In such cases, one may need to buy royalty-free rights (if available) or seek formal permission from the creator.

To make sure you are safe, do thorough research before using a piece of music in your content. The following tips will help you find out whether a track is copyrighted or not.

How to Check if a Song on YouTube is Copyrighted?

Not sure "how to use copyrighted music on YouTube?" The first step is to find out whether a song on YouTube is copyrighted. These tips will help you do that.

1. Check video description

Most YouTube musicians add copyright details of their songs and tracks in the video description box. If you like a song on YouTube and are curious whether or not you can reuse it, check the description box.

2. Check if it’s in the public domain

PDINFO is a website that lets users find out if a YouTube song is in the public domain. If the music piece you wish to use is in the public domain, you'll be free to use it.

3. Upload your video in the unlisted or private category first

As soon as you upload your video and add it to the unlisted or private list, the YouTube algorithm will tell you whether any parts of your content violate copyright terms.

Note: Many times, the creator may not have created a copyright license, so your video may not be violating any copyright terms at the moment. However, if the creator chooses to license their music in the future, you may receive a copyright claim.

How to Check if a Song on Instagram and Facebook is Copyrighted?

Wondering "how to avoid copyright on instagram?"

Identifying a song's copyright status on Facebook and Instagram is easy. If a song is copyrighted and restricted for copy and distribution, at the time of uploading, Facebook and Instagram algorithms will show a warning.

However, this can not be identified before you upload the video.

To find out whether a song present on Facebook and Instagram is copyrighted, you can use the same tips that work for YouTube.

How to Know if a Song on Twitch is Copyrighted?

Twitch does not have tools or methods for finding out whether a song is copyrighted. For this reason, it's best to assume that all the music present here is copyrighted unless mentioned otherwise.

If a music piece is licensed under creative commons or lies in the public domain, it can be used according to their norms. For using other pieces in your content, it'd be best to consult the creator and request permission.

Can I Only Use a Portion of a Song?

The usage of any song depends on its respective copyrights. If a song is available in the public domain, you can use any part(s) of the song (or the entire piece). Otherwise, if the song has a creative commons license, it can be used after certain modifications. Similarly, if a music piece is copyright protected by its creator, users will have to take usage permissions or purchase royalty-free copyrights.

Once you have suitable copyright permissions, you can use any or all parts of the song.

Can I Use a Cover of a Popular Song?

Once a song has been published by its creator, creators on the web can record their cover versions after obtaining a mechanical license. The further usage of the cover will depend on how the covering artist allows it to be used.

Adding to that, a live concert is not a publication.

What Happens if I Use Copyrighted Music Without Permission?

Using copyrighted music without the right permissions can get you in trouble. In such cases, you will be accountable for copyright infringement and may lead to a monetary fine or other judicial compensation(s).

Apart from that, if you upload copyrighted content on your YouTube channel, you may receive a copyright claim, your video may be demonitized, or worse, your channel may receive a copyright strike.

To avoid such problems, it's advisable to not use music unless you have the permissions.