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Using Images & Music – What About Copyright?

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“What music and images can I use in my videos?”
“Can I use library music?”

With the ease and freedom of the internet, many people are tempted to download and use anything Google offers on their own website or in their videos. They are not aware that they may well be breaking copyright law and are mostly ignorant of the consequences such infringement could have, especially if they use this content to promote their businesses.

The three most important categories for music and images with copyright licenses that allow use of them are:

  • Free to use
  • Public domain
  • Royalty free

Some websites offer free to use music or images. However, make sure that this is explicitly stated on the website and that use is not restricted, for instance, to charities and private use only.

Public domain content includes music and images whose copyright has expired. These websites state this fact clearly.

Royalty free music and images are not free. Licenses for these products either have to be paid for or the source must be credited in the final product, be it a video, website or publication. Some licenses restrict the use to specific purposes. Please, check this carefully on the respective website.

The main advantage of Royalty free music and images is that they have to be paid for only once. Royalties are not due on every occasion the end product is sold, aired or viewed.

In all three cases, it is imperative that you make a note of the site’s URL and the licence that was issued with the music or image you are using. If you cannot provide this information, the consequences can be expensive.

Youtube detects and takes down copyrighted music and closes down channels that violate Youtube rules. There is no appeal as Youtube provides a free service that comes with its own rules. This could be expensive if you use Youtube hosted videos for your business.

Do you use any soundtracks or images that could be under copyright? Are you sure you don’t?

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