We will tell you a bit more about these platforms later in case you want to know more about them.
Well, at this point you already know the 3 options to get copyright-free music.
Now let’s see how to find out which songs are copyrighted.
How do I know if a song is copyrighted?
First of all, there are several methods to know reliably if a song is copyrighted or not. Below we will explain, step by step, each of them.
PDinfo – The website with all the music in the public domain
PDinfo is an informative project about the public domain, where you can find not only documentation on this subject, but also books, journalistic writings, and of course, music.
In the Public Domain Music section, you can find all the music tracks under this denomination. If you have doubts about whether the song you want to use belongs to the public domain, this website offers you several ways to clear your doubts.
You can search for it by the first letter of its title or by using its search engine.
It is worth mentioning that if you find the song you want to use in PDinfo, it will not be copyrighted, and therefore you will be able to use it 100% freely.
YouTube – The ultimate tool
YouTube, beyond being the most visited online platform in the world -just behind Google- or being the number 1 video website globally, is also a great tool to indirectly verify the copyright of a song.
Because YouTube is where the vast majority of music tracks are uploaded that have been created for decades.
And as a company, they are committed to complying with the legality when it comes to music copyrights.
In fact, they have created their own algorithm to identify any illegal use of music – the so-called Content ID.
YouTube’s Content ID not only checks the copyrights of songs that have been officially published on the platform but also extends to music much older than YouTube itself.
Now, how can you know which music is copyrighted and which is not on YouTube?
We show it to you below.
Check the video description
Whenever you search for a video on YouTube and it contains copyrighted music, one way to recognize it is to go to the video description.
By default, the platform adds a few lines of information about the music track(s) heard in the video.
Something similar to this:
Therefore, if you search for a song on YouTube, and similar information appears in the description, there is no doubt: that song is copyrighted.
Upload a video to YouTube privately/hidden before publishing it
Another way to detect if a song is copyrighted is by adding it to a video that is uploaded to the platform.
In order of avoiding strikes from YouTube, the recommendation here is to upload it in private or hidden.
It is also recommended that you upload the song with a background image or a video that does not take up much space.
This way, you will not have to render the original video over and over again with each song you want to know its legal status, and therefore, you will save a lot of time.
Once you upload the video privately with the associated song, half of the work is done.
The other half will be taken care of by the Content ID algorithm, which will quickly identify if the song is copyrighted:
If the song is not copyrighted, you will not receive a warning.
If the song is copyrighted, YouTube will warn you about it.
Other methods to know which music is copyrighted
Apart from the above, there are other ways to find out if a song is copyrighted.
Look for the copyright mark. Although it may seem obvious, it is a very unusual but very revealing practice. The song you want to use is copyrighted if you see the copyright symbol next to it when you download the song. (Not to be confused with the Creative Commons licensing symbol).
Know what the law says. To avoid infringing your country of residence’s copyright law, there is nothing better than knowing what it says. You may find it hard to understand, but in summary, it says the following:
“If you can hear a melody or see a musical composition written on paper, that work is copyrighted and the rights belong to the author of the work.”
Hire copyright experts. If you want to be 100% sure that a song is not copyrighted, one of the most reliable options is to hire specialists in the field or companies that offer this type of service. You can also contact the Copyright Societies, also known as PROs.
Do you want copyright-free music? These are the best platforms!
Previously we introduced you to the 4 best royalty free music websites.
Now it’s time to find out a little more about each of them.
Although there are also other platforms where you can get royalty-free music, we would first like to highlight a novelty that we have introduced in Legis Music:
Launch of three exclusive plans in 2023
We consider it vitally important that our customers can access royalty-free music easily and cheaply.
Therefore, these plans have been designed so that you only have to pay once to get them, allowing you to enjoy unlimited songs for life and have the peace of mind of not having to worry about copyright claims in the future.
Thus, you can choose the plan that best suits your needs:
Starter Plan. This license allows you to use the music in all social networks and on any web page. The only condition is to credit legismusic.com in every publication.
Personal Plan. If you are looking to get numerous songs to use in your personal projects, this is the license for you. The Personal Plan offers unlimited music downloads, which can be used in social networks and streaming platforms, YouTube, apps, video games and audio books; as well as podcasts, virtual classes and online ads. Its price is $49 in a single payment and for life -if you use it for 3 years, it will be like paying $1/month-.
Business Plan. This plan is specially designed for freelancers, companies and those who work for clients. It is the most open license of all, as any use case is covered and it also offers unlimited music (the only thing that is not allowed is to resell the songs). Its price is a one-time payment of $99 for life -if you use it for 2 years, it will be like paying $4/month.
As you can see, if there is one thing that makes our licenses stand out, it is the opportunity to enjoy them forever and paying only once.
Below is a table with the three plans and their respective prices.
Epidemic Sound is one of the leaders in the copyright-free music sector, with more than 13 years of experience.
It offers its users a music library with more than 100,000 exclusive music tracks of the highest quality, distributed into songs and sound effects.
Among its most notable tools are the ‘EAR’ option to find similar songs in terms of voice, vibes…; ‘Stems’ with which you can delete any instrument from a music track, and ‘Find Similar’, with which you can find songs similar to those you have previously liked.
Epidemic Sound offers you three types of subscription plans, adapted to whatever your musical needs may be:
Personal Plan (108 € / year o 13 € / month). Designed for content creators or podcasters who create pieces for their own use.
Commercial Plan (228 € / year o 49 € / month). For freelancers and companies that will create productions for commercial purposes.
Business Plan (quote request needed). Created for entities looking for a business solution such as media or radio and TV stations.
Whatever your case may be, Epidemic Sound promises to offer you the best royalty-free music you can find on the Internet.
Find out now by accessing the platform for free for 30 days.
Audiio is the platform with the most revolutionary music offer in the market, and soon you will understand why.
It is worth mentioning that, despite having been on the market for less time than other similar companies, it has managed to convince with its music clients such as Netflix, Adidas, or Nike, among others.
And not only for its large music library or for the quality of its music tracks, created by the best indie artists in the world, but also for its innovative proposal.
This is their Lifetime Music ($299) licence, with which you can pay only once and have access to all the music and sound effects respectively… for life!
They also offer you the Audiio Pro license ($199 / year), with which you will have access to both music tracks and sound effects, but only for one year.
We recommend you to visit the website and take a look at all the royalty-free music that Audiio offers you.
In case you like the service and want to count on this platform as your music ally, you can get a 70% discount on the first year subscription when paying for the Audiio Pro licence by clicking on the button below.
When it comes to using music in any kind of project or business, you should not only take care of aspects such as the music genre, its speed, or its volume.
You also need to take into account the well-known copyright.
Music copyright is an element that you should not overlook under any circumstances if you do not want to face serious legal problems or huge financial penalties.
To avoid these setbacks and have the peace of mind you are looking for regarding music, you need to know if the music you want to use in your projects is protected by copyright.
If you have come this far, you already know the easiest steps to find out:
Know if the music is before or after 1923. If it is earlier, it is public domain music and is not copyrighted. If it is after that date, it may be copyrighted.
Know if it is under the public domain. To do this you should go to the PDinfo portal and check it. Have you found the song you want to use on this website? Then it is not copyrighted. You have not found it? In that case, it is possible that it is protected by copyright.
Search on YouTube. Use the platform’s search engine to search for your song and check the comments. Do you find information about licenses granted to YouTube? Then that song is copyrighted. Otherwise, it is music without copyright.
However, instead of going through all these steps, you can also opt for the easiest option: use music that you already know is not copyrighted.
Throughout the article, we have shared with you 3 categories of copyright-free music: public domain music, Creative Commons music, and royalty-free music.
Of the 3 options, the first two have some drawbacks that make them not very compatible with commercial projects.
But royalty-free music licenses offer a real solution to get the background music you were looking for.
Legis Music, Epidemic Sound, Artlist y Audiio are the best platforms where you can find this type of music. All of them are proven companies in the stock music industry, chosen by thousands of customers and prestigious brands. Not only do they offer you huge libraries of top-quality music for your projects, but they do it in an economical and 100% legal way.
If you want to use original and quality music while avoiding any copyright claims, we recommend you to check them out and choose the one that best suits your business.
As a content creator, finding the right music can make or break a project. Legis Music’s library of royalty-free music is extensive and their lifetime licenses are unbeatable in terms of cost. I especially appreciate the peace of mind that comes with not having to worry about clearing channels or getting copyright strikes.
As a video editor, I used to dread the thought of finding the right music for my projects. But Legis Music has made it so easy and affordable. The lifetime licenses are the cherry on top. I can now focus on creating amazing content without any stress about music rights. Thank you!
As a small online business owner, it’s important to make smart investments in all aspects of our operations, including music. Legis Music’s business plan and lifetime licenses are what we needed. Not only are they affordable, but they provide the peace of mind that comes with not having to worry about clearing channels or getting copyright strikes.
Finding the right music to set the mood for my stories can be a challenge. But with Legis Music, I no longer have to worry. I can now use the music for all my projects without any fear and the fact that you don’t even have to create an account is great. This has become an indispensable page for my work as an audiobook creator.