How to Properly Use Music in YouTube Videos

How to Properly Use Music in YouTube Videos

How to Properly Use Music in YouTube Videos

Finding the right music

When it comes to producing YouTube videos, finding the right music can sometimes be tricky. A lot of people just want to use their favourite high-energy electronic pop song to promote their product. But did you know, it’s actually illegal just to throw a copyrighted song in your video? If you’ve already tried to upload a video with popular music to YouTube, I’m sure they’ve let you know that it is illegal. So, what now? You REALLY wanted that song. Well, there are a few options available to you.

Public Domain

There is a magical place on the internet called the Public Domain. This is where you can find music that is available to use freely publicly. After a certain amount of time copyrighted work loses its protection and will fall into the Public Domain. In the US, any song or musical work published in 1922 or before is available to public domain.


According to Stanford University Library, there are a bunch of questions to ask yourself that can help you move in the right direction.

In general, the permissions process involves a simple six-step procedure:

  1. Determine if permission is needed.
  2. Identify the owner.
  3. Identify the rights needed.
  4. Plan Ahead for Permission.
  5. Contact the owner and negotiate whether payment is required.
  6. Get your permission agreement in writing.

For a more in-depth look at the procedures and list visit The Basics of Getting Permission.

Creative Commons on YouTube

YouTube channels have the choice to allow their work to be reused by others. If they do decide to opt-in for this, their video will be marked with a CC by license. Other users will then will be able to use the work for commercial or non-commercial uses within the YouTube, video editor. You can easily find out which videos are marked with Creative Commons by performing a search on YouTube then clicking, Filter > Features > Creative Commons.

So, these are some ways to get the music you want safe and legally. Breaking copyright laws is a serious offence so be sure to get the correct permission and stay within the legal guidelines.

S h a r e M e !