A safe bet when trying to decide if a song is copyrighted, is to assume that it is - especially if it is a popular song, one you’ve heard before, from a famous artist or rising record label.
Most music is copyrighted, owned by the writers, singers, producers, and labels who created and shared it.
A copyright is a type of intellectual property, in this case a song or piece of music, that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of that creative work over a limited time.
In music, this limited time is usually 100 years - that’s why anyone is allowed to make and sell renditions of a Mozart song, but the same doesn’t apply to Jay-Z.
Copyright infringement refers to when a copyrighted work is used without license or permission from the owner. Usually, you only own the rights to a song if you created the song or acquired the legal license from a song creator - or if it is non copyright music, for example from a copyright free music library.
When you find a song you like, you can search for it on YouTube to see if it exists there with any restrictions. YouTube shows all the copyright details and restrictions for various tracks so you know if you are allowed to reuse the track, and if you need to credit the track creator, or any other rules.
Beware of disobeying these rules, as it could result in a copyright strike from YouTube or any other sharing platform, where your video could be blocked, music could be muted, or the monetization redirected to a different owner.
Typically, owners of music copyrights will retain sole license over their creative work, with the modern recent exception of TikTok. TikTok is an interesting exception to this rule because it started as a Karaoke app, so had agreements in place to be able to use the music of many large record labels.
Recently Instagram stories has followed suit with the ability to add music to stories, but these 15 seconds of usage are not from non copyright music libraries. They are allowed to be used because the platforms set up agreements with certain artists and labels that there would be no copyright music infringement if users were allowed to share a few seconds of the owners’ songs.
Outside of Instagram stories and TikTok, most of the music used in creative works from vloggers and other content creators has to be copyright free music.
The safest way to find non copyright music is typically in copyright free music libraries. These are guaranteed safe solutions to finding and sharing music online without running any risk of copyright infringement issues.
Many libraries are massive, and finding high quality tracks and no copyright music can take time. That’s why the Loudly music library has built an advanced filter system to help you sift through thousands of quality tracks.
Every track was tagged by a team of experts and music producers according to genre, subgenre, mood, energy level and more, to help you find the exact track you need, with no copyright music infringements guaranteed!
Furthermore, the tracks have been pre-cleared for usage across all digital platforms, putting the power in the hands of the content creator to select and upload content that can live safely online.