Can I Use Copyrighted Music In YouTube Videos?

Learn how YouTube’s copyright system works, how to legally use copyrighted music in YouTube videos and how to resolve third-party copyright claims.

Many YouTubers are convinces that using copyrighted music in YouTube videos is a surefire way for getting your account penalized and your video muted or removed altogether. The reality isn’t that grim but you do need to understand how to legally use copyrighted music on YouTube to avoid copyright strikes on your channel.

how to use copyrighted music on youtube


First of all, let us put your mind at ease. Yes, you CAN legally use copyrighted music in YouTube videos BUT you need to understand how YouTube’s copyright system works.

What happens if I use copyrighted music on YouTube?

YouTube employs a robust system called Content ID that allows copyright owners to identify and to manage how their content is used on YouTube. Every video uploaded to YouTube is scanned against the Content ID database to detect if it contains any copyrighted music or video.

Copyright owners, not YouTube, get to decide what to do with videos that contain their work.

If you use copyrighted music registered in the Contend ID system, the copyright owner may decide to:

  • Mute your video (video is still available but no audio)
  • Block your video (worst case – this most likely will penalize your channel)
  • Monetize on your video by running ads (you won’t be able to monetize)
  • Track the viewership statistics of your video

In most cases, Content ID is only available to established music publishers, however, a number of YouTube certified companies, like AdRev, Audiam, and few more, offer technical solutions for smaller independent music producers, so they can also protect their works with YouTube’s Content ID system.

download unlimited royalty-free production music for videos

For example, if you use a music track registered in the AdRev system, you will receive a copyright claim (also known as third party content match) that looks like this:

I’ve got a copyright claim. Am I in trouble?

That depends. The Content ID system is merely informing you that it detected some copyrighted music in your video. The copyright owner decides whether they want to allow you to use their music.

In most cases, the owners will be happy to let you use their music in exchange for putting ads in your video. Sadly, this means you won’t be able to monetize your video.

However, if your video was taken down, this most likely will affect your account standing and you may lose access to some YouTube features. Repeated offenders will be banned from YouTube. Note that deleting offending videos won’t restore your account standing.

How can I legally use copyrighted music on YouTube?

When you get a third party content claim YouTube suggest you do one of the following:

  • Acknowledge it. If you don’t mind the ads, you don’t have to do anything.
  • Remove or swap the music. *
  • Share revenue. If you’re a partner you can share revenues for song covers.
  • Dispute the claim if you believe you have the right to use the music.

* Starting in 2019, YouTube has been making some changes to make it easier for creators to resolve the claims. In particular, YouTube configured their post claim tools – Add or Replace a Song, Remove a Song, and Trimming – to automatically release claims on some of the cases.

* Starting 2022 YouTube has introduced a new “Check” tool, so you can find out if your new video triggers any copyright claims before it’s published on YouTube. Learn more how to check if a song is copyrighted on YouTube.

youtube copyight check tool

The best option is to secure the permission of the copyright owner to use their music on YouTube and to have the owner retract the claim. This may be free (as with Creative Commons or Public Domain music) or you may need to pay a licensing fee.

Getting the permission (or the license) may be easy or hard depending on what kind of music you’d like to use.

If you are after a popular commercial song this usually involves getting in touch with the publisher and working out a deal. As you can imagine, the licensing fees in this case may be quite substantial.

Related: How To Legally Use Music In Commercial Business Videos

Fortunately, many music production companies and individual composers create music specifically for use in YouTube videos. You can get such music either directly from a composer or from a marketplace, like ours. Our licenses explicitly allow for using our music on YouTube, which makes retracting the claims very easy.

download unlimited royalty-free music for personal commercial use

Why do I need to deal with copyright claims if I have the permission to use the music?

Unfortunately, the Content ID system cannot tell in advance (yet!) whether you have permission to use a particular music track. It merely informs you that your video contains copyrighted music. It is your responsibility to reach out to the copyright owner and to request the retraction of the claim.

Nowadays, most professional composers resort to AdRev or similar services to protect their copyright. Don’t let this discourage you. AdRev system allows the composers to easily clear the claims and even to whitelist entire YouTube channels to prevent any future claims. Learn how to remove copyright claims.

Related: How AdRev Copyright Claims Can Protect Royalty Free Music Buyers From Fraud

Please see below for some examples of the videos that use our music. All these videos use copyrighted music that is registered with AdRev. However, as you can see no ads appear in the videos and the videos are fully accessible on YouTube.

Want to use these music tracks in your video?

  • Key To Success (inlc. 5 loops)

    2:50 115 bpm
    5 out of 5
    From: $19.00
    Personal Royalty Free License

    To use in personal or small business (up to 10 employees) promotional video, social media, podcast, presentation, free / student film, free app / game, and any media / online content not intended for sale.

    Commercial Royalty Free License
    Extended Royalty Free License
    or visit the details page
  • Reaching For The Top

    3:54 125 bpm
    5 out of 5
    From: $19.00
    Personal Royalty Free License

    To use in personal or small business (up to 10 employees) promotional video, social media, podcast, presentation, free / student film, free app / game, and any media / online content not intended for sale.

    Commercial Royalty Free License
    Extended Royalty Free License
    or visit the details page
  • Taking the Lead

    3:25 125 bpm
    From: $19.00
    Personal Royalty Free License

    To use in personal or small business (up to 10 employees) promotional video, social media, podcast, presentation, free / student film, free app / game, and any media / online content not intended for sale.

    Commercial Royalty Free License
    Extended Royalty Free License
    or visit the details page

We also welcome you to listen to our top 20 best selling royalty free music tracks that appear in many corporate and marketing videos on YouTube and elsewhere.

We guarantee to clear all copyright claims for any music licensed via our site or your money back!

Wouldn’t it be easier to use “copyright free” music?

As long as a particular music track is not registered with the Content ID system, it won’t trigger any copyright claims. If you search the Web, you will certainly find YouTube channels and Web sites offering freely downloadable “copyright free” music.

However, if you’re monetizing your YouTube videos or in charge of your company’s video marketing channel, you should always opt for obtaining the formal license that explicitly grants you the right to use the music the way you need.

MikS Music, one of our composers, put together a great article discussing the risks associated with using “copyright free” music on YouTube:

Read This Before Using Copyright Free Music In Your Marketing Video

Learn More About Non Copyrighted Music And How You Can Safely Use It In YouTube Videos

If you’re using music for commentary, news, or some non-profit causes you may (!) be able to use it legally under “fair use” doctrine of the copyright law.

Learn more: Using copyrighted music under “fair use” provision

Related: How to easily see if music is copyrighted (100% accurate)


Yes, you absolutely can use copyrighted music on YouTube, as long as you get the permission from the copyright holder. Keep it on file for any possible copyright dispute. Get your music from a reputable music provider.

Need music for commercial use?

Buy Music For Commercial Use – License Online Now

With exception of public domain and some types of creative commons music, using music in commercial business projects requires the explicit permission of the copyright owner.

We offer a collection of 1000+ professionally produced instrumental music tracks with a variety of commercial licensing options. All our music is royalty free, cleared for commercial use.

Below is a quick sample of our library. To license, simply choose one of the available pricing options based on the intended use. Each license grants you the perpetual worldwide usage rights effective immediately after the purchase.


Making LOTS of videos?

Unlimited download. Lifetime license. Save over 50%. Sign Up


Update regarding YouTube Music Policy Page

Many of the below comments show links to now defunct YouTube’s Music Policy database.

It was a great solution to check if a particular music track was copyrighted and what would happen if you use that track in your video.

Unfortunately, YouTube has removed the Music Policy page along with the old Creator Studio. According to YouTube, the page wasn’t “popular enough”.

128 thoughts on “Can I Use Copyrighted Music In YouTube Videos?

  1. Thank you for this post. I’m an honest YouTuber who buys all of her music, but sometimes I get stuck buying “Royalty Free” music from artists who report their track to Adrev (without informing the buyer), and it takes anywhere from 24hr to a week to get the video released from Adrev.

    By then all of my subscribers ( and I have a pretty big channel) have seen the video already, thus I receive no advertising revenues from that video.

    Is this fair? What did the artist get out of this? I’ll never buy from that person again or support him, in fact I’ll be sure to spread who NOT to buy from to other YouTubers. When I complained to this artist, all I got was a, “I have to protect my music”…… *sigh*

    1. Hi Jenna!

      I do understand your frustration! Let me explain why many composers, myself included resort to using AdRev.

      One of the issues is that for every legit buyer, I have dozens and dozens of people using my music without permission. Before AdRev, there was no way for us, royalty free music composers, to monetize on unauthorized use.

      There’s another, even bigger, problem though. If I don’t register my music, there is a pretty big chance someone else will, just to make a quick buck on YouTube. AdRev is tightening the rules, but sadly abuse is still widespread.

      So it’s not only about protecting the music but ALSO PROTECTING THE BUYER from rogue claims. At least the composers are WILLING and able to remove the claims for those who licensed their music. On the other hand, the abusers are not interested in removing the claims whatsoever.

      Now to solve your issue with the subscribers.

      Upload your video to YouTube but don’t publish it just yet (or publish as private). Clear the claim and then publish. That’s it! Your video is claim free and available to all your subscribers.

      Hope that helps!

      1. That’s a great answer Mik. I have a little home studio with almost 200 friends. I was in a band YEARS ago as a bass player and I am a Music Major. Now, at 57, I just want to cover songs that are near and dear to me for my friends and also, as a kind of Legacy for my son when I’m gone. My vids are under the “producer name” of “Fm Studio” and I’ve done 5 so far with 3 copyright warnings already. I am a YouTube Premium Member and I post My Vids on Facebook. This is for enjoyment only but I don’t want to lose my channel.

      2. hi i am new in youtube, may i ask if i still have a chance to have monitize my video even it was claimed as copyright music? what should i do? please help. thank you

          1. That’s correct. You need to have the claims removed before you can monetize. The easiest option is to replace the soundtrack.

          2. You can have two channels. One, your original work. The other, copyrighted music. In each video description you have a link that goes to the other, so that viewers can be aware that you have two channels and they might decide to subscribe to both. Monetise only the channel with your original work. If they close the other channel, you still have your fans in your original channel and keep working with origanal stuff.

    2. Hi, I am in the process of producing a fitness video for cancer patients and cancer survivors. The segments in the video are not for profit, and all the participants in the video are cancer survivors. However The overlapping music i want to use is copyrighted music. My question is can i upload it to you tube privately with a link? or how can i do this with out getting red flagged. I would like to use you tube as a platform for cancer survivors to go to. Thank You

    3. I really love editing so i decided to make channel in youtube by editing and combining pictures and videos with lyrics and using famous songs but i dont know what to do.. please help me. Thank you. Godbless.

  2. Question. Does the content id system prevent me from getting sued by the copyright holder? If i use the copywritten music can the copyright holder just forget youtube and just pursue legal action?

    1. Good question Jesse. If the copyright owner is determined to pursue legal action, I don’t think the content id system can provide any protection (think the RIAA lawsuits). However, imho most copyright owners use the system to avoid filing notices / pressing charges. They simply choose what they want the system to do (block, mute, or monetize on your videos) and let YouTube deal with the offenders. Hope that answers your question. Please note, I am not a lawyer and this can’t be considered a legal advice.

  3. Should copyrighted music be available on the internet free of charge, even if it is against the wish of the artist and the recording company? Consider both sides of the argument to make a more convincing argument.

    1. Man i agree i got a few copyrighted strikes because of liking copyrighted music i mean i dont think its fair because of all those people that like abusing us people that want to use for good cause and give credit to the artist i still get copyrighted atleast if we gave the artist credit we should be allowed to use it and without any punishment.

  4. I am confused because when i go on youtube it says that i am ok to use it, but it wont let me use it in the video editor on youtube and thats how i edit my videos…

  5. Hi, I’m just a bit confused. Does this mean that if you buy/purchase the music from the artist (off iTunes, or in any legitimate way), and use it in your video, that would be okay? Would I still have to contact the artist to use the music in my video if I’ve purchased/paid for the track? Thanks so much! I’m just starting out as a youtuber and would like to use a really beautiful song as my intro music, but I’d like to do it right. Thanks for the advice!

    1. Generally, if you purchase music from iTunes you are not allowed to use it for anything but personal listening. If you put commercial music on YouTube the outcome may differ from nothing to copyright strike on your account. See if you can find your artist here:

      If you want to use music in videos or other projects (even if not commercial) it’s best to get the explicit permission from the artist. Alternatively you can license production music from a site like this one (, where artists upload their music to let others use it in videos and commercial projects in exchange for a licensing fee.

  6. Boy, am I confused.


    I’ve seen a lot of AMVs or just random videos where they use songs in the background just for fun. So, I think at least some of those didn’t get permission for the owner.

    Will it still be bad if I only use it for entertainment purposes, don’t get any money or any other benefit for it, use only part of the song, and put a disclaimer in the description? I mean, it still technically is bad, I know, but a lot of people on YT are doing this and… I just wanna ask, lol.

  7. Hi Ann,

    Keep in mind, YouTube’s system is automated, so it doesn’t matter what you put in the description or how you plan to use the video. As long as the music is registered in the content id system, YouTube will react in some way based on the preferences set by the owner.

    Yes, this can get confusing 🙂 The rule of thumb is that unless you have the explicit permission from the owner (or purchased a license for a production music track), it will be difficult to dispute the claim.

    YouTube has a database of free music you can use. For commercial music take a look at to see what may happen to your video.

    1. To the best of my knowledge, there is no such thing. If a particular piece of music is registered in the content id system, and the system is able to recognize it (under the dialogue or what have you), it will get flagged. The result may be harmless or not, depending on the preferences set by the copyright owner.

  8. Hi I am totally confused on this issue. I have recorded several songs (singing with artists and karaoke). I want to post these songs on you tube so my friends and family can hear them. Can I do this??

    Thanks for your quick response

    1. If you’re posting your own content you shouldn’t worry much. If you’re doing covers of popular commercial songs you may get ads on your videos. If you’re singing along that really depends on the songs. Hope that helps.

  9. Hi, I’m just wanting to post some travel videos to my friends on Facebook that I’ve made with popular but copyrighted music. If it’s just playing for my small list of Facebook friends will this be a problem and if so, how do I resolve it?

  10. This is just so confusing. One, can you use audio from iTunes in a video? Two, can you take audio from a video without calling it copyright? And Three, if you say that the audio belongs to its creator, does that make a difference?

    1. Yes, this can be confusing 🙂

      One – technically yes, but depending on the owner’s preferences your video may get a claim, get muted, become not available in some countries, and so on. See for possible outcome.

      Two – I don’t quite understand your question.

      Three – no, it makes no difference what you say in the description of your video

  11. My daughter makes cute videos from Animal Jam and puts it to a,song she likes. Is this OK? I see TONS of lyric videos and stuff to all kinds of popular songs. I doubt everyone has gotten permission to use them.

  12. Hello, I am making a mainly original song, and I was wanting to use part of the flute part of Kokiri Forest (Legend Of Zelda) I have tried getting in touch with the owner (Nintendo) and they just said they wouldn’t be able to tell me anything about their copyright laws. They mainly just told me to look up how to use a part of a song without owners permission. Because it is just a small section of the song (Like 9 Bars 4/4 time), would that be okay to use because it is such a small section of the song? I use nothing else copyrighted in the song.

    1. It really depends on what you’re planning to do with that song. If you’re just making it for fun, I wouldn’t worry much. If you’re planning on using it commercially or offering it for sale or licensing, I would strongly advice against using any uncleared 3rd party samples. Get a royalty free flute sample instead. Cheers!

    1. I assume you just want to upload your GoPro video on YouTube? If so, check out this page and try to find the song you want to use:

      This directory will tell you what will happen to your video for using a particular piece of copyrighted music. Also it appears that you must be logged in to YouTube for that page to work!

  13. Heyy nice post…is it possible to use copyrighted music on my dj sets that I upload to youtube my intention is not to monetize my videos at first place is that possible? because I see youtube channels like Juicy m boiler room mix mag and other that use copyright music and their videos are normal thanks for the answer and sorry for my english

    1. As I suggested in earlier posts, check out YouTube’s music policies directory and search for the songs you’d like to use in your sets to see how your video may be affected. Cheers!

    1. I think 20 secs is not true.

      The famous David Dobrik uses famous tracks in his videos at climax part of every video. I don’t know it was legal to him or not but he uses only 8secs. I think 8 secs is safe

  14. I make lots of drawing videos and then put music in the background (a few I have done are From a Distance, Say Something). I write in the description the song title and the artist. A friend of mine said that YouTube could take off my channel? Is this true? How will I be able to put music in the back if it’s copyrighted? And I always see lyric videos and things like tv fan videos to popular songs. Surely they can’t ALL own the rights. How do I put music in the back without hurting my channel? I’m so confused…

    1. If you’re looking to use famous songs by well-known artists, check out this page and try to find the song you want to use.

      Alternatively, license a song from an indie artist or a music library and use it in your videos. Having a valid license will help you defend against any possible copyright claims on your videos. Hope this helps!

  15. i want to put music in my videos but you said that i have 4 outcomes in what happens with my video so how do i only get adds on my video instead of video getting blocked or muted

  16. Hi my youtube channel name is On The Web…I am new to youtube..
    Earlier i used to upload videos of America’s Got Talent…i couldn’t make any money from it because of copyright issues though nothing happened to my channel…
    Then i started recording audios of singers in a reality show(Sa Re Ga Ma Pa) and uploaded them on youtube… This time i monetised all my videos(4 vids) and i was getting good views almost 1k in a day
    But then a third party complained about my chaneel and all my 4 videos were taken down from YouTube…
    I have seen many other Youtubers doing the same thing and uploading same music as i did..but their channels are running good…
    I want to know what i can do to stop getting copyright strikes or what they are doing so that they dont get copyright….or why their videos are still on youtube
    Hope you understand my problem…and i will get a reply from you…u can mail me if u like

  17. Hi, I am the music minister at my church. We currently purchase from major music companies choir and ensemble music along with the accompaniment tracks for performance in our church.
    Is it permissible to video and upload them to YouTube for our members to view?

  18. Hi. I like to make home movies to share with family and friends. I often use copyrighted music, which I have paid for, as a background track. As my family is scattered across the world, I’d like to upload Youtube and share privately with a selected group. Can I do this legally?

      1. You mention the music_policies URL a number of times in comments @mik, but as of right now that URL is dead and resolves to a 404 error. Just thought you might want to be aware of that.

  19. I am editing a video that I have created on iMovie and it allows me to use music in my phone. If I purchased the song legally, can I use it in my video?

    1. If it only was that easy 🙂

      Don’t worry about SOCAN, YouTube should have the blanked license to cover the performing rights (I assume). You only will need it if you broadcast on your own.

      You can have your channel whitelisted by a stock music library or individual composers but that won’t extend to ALL copyrighted music.

      If you just want to use popular songs and don’t mind some ads in your videos, check out this list:


  20. Do I have to get permission from the copyright owner if I just say on the youth video what song it is and who made it, and also put it in the description with a link to the music video?

    1. Giving credit does not grant you any special rights. The only exception here is when you’re using music under Creating Commons license that requires attribution.

  21. Hi I am a retired DJ and I want to make and publish on youtube, a video (just music and jingles and perhaps some old commercials) from stations I have worked at. The music to be used is all on youtube already (50 & 60 oldies) and the jingles are from the respective radio stations. Since the music I would be using is already published on YT will there be any problems? This, of course is for historical purposes to give the youth of today a sample of what radio sounded like in the 50’s and 60’s and I do not want or expect to receive any monetary gain from anyone. In other words I am doing this free. This is all greek to me and pressure from friends forces me to at least try to accomplish this as they think it will be great.

    1. This may qualify as fair-use, however, there is no sure-fire way to tell. You may want to check with the radio stations if that’s OK to use the jingles. I assume they own the material.

  22. Hi, I used ‘shine bright like a diamond’ for a school short movie my pupils made. I published it and only later realised it wouldnt work on mobile devices or ipads, only computers. I cant change the song as its been published and sent to releveant sources as a project. What can I do?

    1. I believe YouTube allows for replacing the music in their online video editor. You can try that or re-upload the video with a new soundtrack. Hope that helps.

  23. Hello! I’m not planning on being some intense Youtuber, I just want to share some of my beginning animation projects and see if my(hopeful) talent reaches out and entertains anyone. They have music in the background, however. I got to this question when I finished a school animation project and I tried to share it on FB to my family, but it wasn’t allowed due to copyright.
    I read all of what the website had to say, but I’m still rather lost, and I don’t want to hurt owners of music should I use it. How do I properly contact them to gain their permission? Email? I think I once saw someone ask through the comment section of a video? Is it something they have to “sign” or can they just say, “Yea, go for it,” and they don’t do anything when they see you use their song?
    The ads are apparently okay, and so is the “Includes copyrighted content,” warning, but knowing me, I would still panic about it and hope the owner of the song isn’t mad at me using their songs with or without permission. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. ^-^

    1. I forgot to mention purchased music… If you buy a song on ITunes or something, can you use the song without asking permission from the owner?

    2. That really depends on what music you’re after. Getting permission from a top artist may be close to impossible, while there are many independent musicians who will happily let you use their music in exchange for some exposure.

      Alternatively, you can get music from a music library. They make music specifically for videos and projects like yours. If you make lots of animations it will make sense to get a royalty free music subscription rather than licensing songs one by one.

      Hope that helps!

    3. Hi, I posted a few videos of my kids dancing that I did with this music video editing app that had good songs by top bands. Btw I did this along time ago. And I never looked into anything about posting a video on YouTube. All I knew about YouTube was you can post video’s. I didn’t even know YouTube was a thing untill a friend of mine took me to the computer room at school to show me the new Link in park video bc I didn’t have cable. This was 2004. So I was told its where you can go to watch music videos. Then in 2005 a friend showed me how him and other people where posting video’s of like Dragon Ball Z but with real music linking the music part perfect to the video’s. Like how it looked like the charecter was singing the song. Those where the only thing I knew about YouTube. Then in 2007 that’s when I had internet finenLy and was able to use YouTube a d my boyfriend was showing me a kinds of stuff that people where doing and posting with what seemed to have no guide lines at all. So fast foreword a few years I posted them dancing with the video editor with the music that was okay to use on that app, (the app had permission to use their music) and with me knowing nothing about YouTube and only knowing what I’ve seen over the past short year’s, I posted my video’s. I don’t know any of this stuff and seems like half the people who started the who YouTube uproar meaning the people posting the content to YouTube didn’t either. I never knew I got 3rd parties copyrighted. I just found out yesterday when I downloaded that YouTube studio app. I’m not a YouTuber. I don’t post enugh content to be one. I only posted a few and they have been years apart. I also posted a video of my youngest child crying over freaking Justin Beiber back when started out. And got 3rd parties copyrighted on that one. When I know thousands of parents and young girls posting videos of them freaking out over him. How many of them got that and didn’t know.? I had 2 dl that YT studio app bc the very few vids I have on there needed to be chosen for kids or not for kids. That is how I found this all out.. Just wanted to share my story with you.

      1. Thank you for sharing.

        There is no reason to worry. Copyright claims do not penalize your channel. The claims are merely notifications that YouTube detected copyrighted content in your video. You may see occasional ads on your videos and the artists will be compensated with the money earned from the ads.

        Hope this helps!

  24. I want to know about making a guitar tutorial video, is it legal to use copyright song in tutorial video?

  25. I apologize if this has been answered but the thread is really long.

    Can I post a video with Copyrighted material and then simply agree to monetizing it?

    What if I put a note in the video stating I want the owner to monetize it and I am fine with just getting to use it to make a video that is more enjoyable. They can have the monetization.

    How would I communicate this correctly?

  26. Thanks for this post, it has been a great place to start trying to learn what is and is not good practice for uploading.

    I have a peculiar case that I can’t find in the discussion however: I wanted to record a parody of the first half of a song to use in a video, but I cannot find if that is covered under fair use or if YouTube at least has the rights to the song I will be creating the parody of to handle the royalties for a mechanical license.

    Do you have any advice on how to approach this issue?

    1. I think you just need to create it and upload. And if YouTube will cause any strike, you will see who is the owner or more detailed info about song.

  27. I have been shooting videos of ice shows at a few local rinks, putting them on vimeo for parents/relatives to watch and for the local cable system to download and run on the local cable channel. The rinks have all the appropriate licenses and they use services to custom edit the music used for the skating programs. The cable channel has music use licenses as well, the director has told me that they have a couple of different types of licenses to cover the use of copyrighted music. I guess I need to find out what they have, but he told me that they are over the top with licenses. I do not use YouTube, because if I put up any ice show video, it will instantly be taken down, so I put them up on vimeo.

    Now I am getting copyright violation notices on vimeo and videos are being taken down by vimeo. I am NOT monetizing the videos, I am a member of the local skating clubs (where the videos are shot) US Figure Skating Associating (required as my daughter is a figure skater) and I am a member of the Cable Channel organization that airs the videos on the cable system.

    What can I do to legally put such videos on vimeo (or someday youtube) without resulting in copyright violations, is it possible?

  28. Hey Mik

    I am a drummer and I love playing to my favorite Bands – Not too long ago I uploaded to YouTube a Led Zeppelin Drum Cover of Achilles Last Stand – It was active for a couple days then blocked due to CR Infringement – I have no idea – But I thought I filled out the You Tube form correctly – I am sure I did not – I see many Drummers doing the exact same thing and their videos are up without being blocked – So can you explain in some detail what or how I need to fill out the form correctly so I can put up my Videos of Drum Covers for my friends to see ? I am not the most tech savvy guy, but a little help would be – helpful – Lol.

  29. Hi Mik,

    My daughter’s high school LiP Dub was taking down from YouTube due to copyright infringement. Any way to get it back up? Old Bridge High School 2018

  30. My daughter performed a song at school from Chicago and it was just blocked for copyright infringement. It was her performing music the school was putting on. How is that an infringement ?

  31. Hi ! I wish to ask permission for the use of a music video , bryan adams , have you ever really loved a woman? the one that show parts of the movie Don Juan De Marco. i would love to show this at my wedding during our wedding song and have black zoro masks for all those who want to be the worlds greatest lover…I think it will be fun and people will laugh and wear these silly masks…so this will be something everyone will remember from my wedding….plus the fireworks if it doesnt rain…ty Rosmary

  32. Can you post personal family videos with music in the background like at a wedding reception where the bride and groom are dancing to a song, the Father-Daughter dance, attendees dancing etc.?

  33. Hi
    Thank you for the informative article
    Im in Saudi and starting my own youtube channel and want to use 10-35 seconds of songs of my choice, I plan on adding the names of soundtracks I use and links to them
    Will using 35 seconds of songs get me copyrighted? and if yes how may I get permission
    Thank you

    1. Check out (please note, you must be logged in to YouTube to access it)

      It will tell you whether you can use a particular song and what will happen if you do. In many cases you can use it, as long as you agree to show ads in your videos (the ad revenue will go to the copyright owner).

      If you plan to monetize your channel, this won’t be the best solution apparently. In this case, it’s best to license the music, so you can monetize without sharing the revenues with the music owner.

      Check out, they offer affordable royalty-free music subscription with copyright support. Hope this helps!

  34. I record live events, generally in bars or pool halls, that has music playing in the background. Is there a solution or license that I can buy that will cover the background music? I absolutely have no control over what is being played in the background as it is either automatically played by the venue OR it is played by a patron.

  35. I’m considering uploading ASL song translations to YouTube predominantly for sharing with a small group of people. If I can’t use audio from iTunes, can I use audio from a CD or where else can I get the audio? For example, I want to use ‘Fool’s Gold’ by 1D (the music_policies page says it will only get ads), where should I be getting the audio from?

  36. I purchased lifetime Digital Juice a life membership. I used some of the songs from their library, and 50% get hit by copyright YouTube.

    Digital Juice is suggesting to contact customer care with a copy of the invoice. As we know no customer care and YOUTube doesn’t get involved in copyrights disputes.

    Any Help is appreciated. Thanks.

  37. How do some people get away with posting videos showing either record label images or the record actually playing on a turntable with the complete track playing in the background?
    If you’re not monetizing the music & videos is this allowed?
    I’ve seen some YTers with millions of views for vids like this and their videos aren’t being blocked/banned.

    1. Check out (please note, you must be logged in to YouTube to access it)

      It will tell you whether you can use a particular song in a video and what will happen if you do.

      So for certain songs, it’s perfectly fine to use them. However, the rights owner may be getting a share of your adrev if you’re monetizing.

  38. Hello – I am a first timer at this. I want to record some videos of songs from You Tube and play them back at my church service. Is this a violation of copyright laws?

    1. Not necessarily. This really depends on the song. You may want to look into public performance licensing requirements in your jurisdiction if you’re aiming to play back commercial music.

  39. Our Church plays piano from a hymn on our youtube channel and almost every video has “Includes copyrighted content”. Clicking the link shows a portion of the song in the video that is involved. We do not monetize our channel, but if it grows what can we do to monetize with out penalty.
    Recent example:

  40. Hi, sorry if you already respond this question, if that the case I coundt fint it.

    I want to make a video of my wedding and sometrips, I would like to use commercial music that I like, and do not want to win money from the videos, and I dont care the ads. So the question is I still have problems using it?

    1. Check out (you must be logged in to YouTube to access it)

      It will tell you whether you can use a particular commercial song in a video and what will happen if you do (if it’s limited in some countries for example).

      You WILL get copyright claims and the ads but you can simply ignore them if you’re not monetizing. The claims won’t penalize your channel. YouTube will compensate song owners with ad money and you can use their music in exchange.

  41. Hey, so I’m making a fan music video and using copyrighted music but I don’t intend to monetize for myself. Would that be ok? Or what usually happens with those sorts of videos?

  42. I recently recorded a Scottish pipe band playing outside in public. My YouTube channel has very few subscribers. I uploaded the video and got a complaint. If this was music taken from a CD then I could understand but using material from a band playing in a public place should be fair game if no revenue is being made from it. After all, I was forced to listen to the music.

  43. What if I’m trying to monetize the video that I create but I just wanna use a instrumental do I need permission to use the instrumental?

  44. I just want to test the sound system for a car and show it on youtube and I need music for this. Is this really bad?

  45. I have included copyrighted music in my videos but i have acknowledged the owner in the description. Does that still mean I won’t be able to monetize my videos? If so , how will I resolve it? Will it turn out to be a copyright strike?

  46. I looked up the song Here Comes the Sun by the Beetles and the directory said that it was viewable worldwide. After trying to post my video I received an email that my video was blocked because Of a copyright claim. Why is that if the directory said it was viewable worldwide?

  47. Hi
    Thanks for the article
    I have a question
    What will happen i Use a song and make a video for edit
    Does it fine to use the whole music or should i change some stuff?
    Please help me with this

  48. Thank you for Good information.
    Can I use purchased mp3 song for my YouTube channel? Or I need to purchase from YouTube only.?

    1. Unless that mp3 was specifically sold to be used in videos, the chances are you can’t just use it.

      You can, however, use any music from YouTube’s audio library. It’s there specifically for that purpose and it’s free.

      Hope this helps!

  49. Hello. I’m an aspiring author planning on having my sister make a trailer to promote my book before I self publish it. I’d like to use a song for this trailer but don’t know how to go about doing this legally. I’d be very grateful for any advice you may have.

    1. If you want to use a well-known commercial song then you have to get in touch with the publisher / recording label and negotiate the license.

      This may be complicated and most likely not cheap.

      If you simply need some background music for the video, check out TunePocket. That’s one of the most affordable options to legally license good music for promotional and commercial videos.

  50. I’ve been looking for a website that is free and will tell me what music is not copyrighted, but I can’t find one. If you find one can you tell me? I also wanted to post videos so that I can go back to them, but almost all of them contain music. Youtube will probably kick me off if I uploaded my videos. Is there any website or app that I can just post content for myself personally that only I can see and not have strict rules to follow, and will allow my music?

  51. The system is horrible. I understand people want to protect their property, but to take 100% ad revenue is just dumb. How does that make people want to use their shit and make content? Here’s an idea why just give a % to music creator and the rest to the creator of the video…as the creator of the music isnt actually doing any more work and getting free revenue from doing nothing else. I swear the people who run this world are greedy morons.

  52. If I use an obscure instrumental clip from a formerly popular artist in an instructional video how likely is the software to catch and flag it?

    1. Obscure or not, as long as the clip is copyrighted, you still need permission. Keep in mind even obscure musicians may have a big label behind them monitoring the usage. They may ignore it, or monetize your video, or do something else. It will be up to the rights owner to decide.

      Frankly, I don’t understand why risk and infringe on someone’s copyrights with so many legal options available both free and paid.

  53. Hi Mik,

    Still a bit confused about using songs… I want to make a short video for seasons greetings to send to clients. I want to use a Christmas-song like “All I want for Christmas”. What will happen if I upload it? How big will the change be that it will be taken offline? I don’t make the video to generate an income. Just to wish people a happy holiday. 🙂

    Thanks for a reply!

    1. Hi Richard,

      It really depends where you upload it. Most social media platforms can detect copyrighted music. The outcome can vary from seeing ads on your video to getting it muted or removed.

      Here’s a post that talks a about what may happen in you use copyrighted music on YouTube:

      If you’re looking for Christmas music to use in business or commercial videos (sending greeting to client is still commercial use), look here:

      Hope this helps!

  54. Hi Mik, I hope u answer my question. I’am making lyrics vedio on my utube channel and im confused about these. Can I make lyrics song using popular song just to get the 1k subscriber and 4k watch time.. and if the time come that can I monitize it.. i just choose cover song to get monitize. Its that possible?

  55. Hi,

    I have an idea to upload a video without sound but synced to a well-known song. Will i still infringe on copyright if i make reference to the song but not upload any audio with the video?

  56. Hi, can I monetize a video that is a music tutorial for a popular song? What if I taught the song on guitar by breaking it down into sections, without playing any of the original song? I could go bare bones to just chord progressions on most. Thanks!

  57. Hello,

    i dont understand why so much DanceMix Videos appear on youtube for years and they get no problems. These are unknown Dj´s and known Dj´s but when i put a Mix on Youtube it will be banned. So what do the thousands of Dj´s to keep their mixes online.

    Thanks a lot for your help.

  58. Heyyy! I am thinking of starting my own youtube channel and the content is just playlists….I am gonna randomly mix songs that I like and create playlist…..Is that illegal?

  59. Hi we had a Tint off competition and used normal music in between on a PA system as background. Now we want to use the videos and add them to sosial media. Will there be a problem if you hear the music in the background?

  60. I don’t plan to use any specific track in my videos. But I film my working space while working, and I do have a radio standing in the corner breaking the silence during work time. Am I then supposed to get license form each and every track the radio plays before I can put the video on YouTube?

  61. I have a couple of music videos on YouTube but want to create a serious channel. My focus is on jazz and big bands. My record collection is rather large, and includes LPs, CDs, etc., from the fifties to the present. On my videos I add comments about recording artists, recording dates, etc.

    Should I just go ahead and create videos and see what happens when I post on YouTube? I am quite willing to remove any items to which copyright holders may take exception.

    Bill Rupp

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