Want more information about direct licensing? Want to know how to avoid copyright claims for good?
In that case, stick around until the end because we will explain everything you need to know about royalty-free music and direct licensing in this article.
What is royalty-free music?
Royalty-free music refers to a type of music license for which no royalties or usage fees are payable.
Unlike copyrighted music, royalty-free music is purchased only once and can be used as many times as you want -following the terms of the license-.
To help you understand the difference, here is an example:
Imagine you want to use copyrighted music on your YouTube channel.
The fee you need to pay is not fixed and depends on many factors, such as the number of plays your video has or the number of subscribers to your channel.
It would also be of limited use: you would only be able to use the song for a certain period, agreed previously in the license.
In other words, the more times the song appeared or, the longer you could use it, the more money you would pay in royalties to the owner of the rights.
On the other hand, with Royalty-Free music, you would pay a fixed price for the license. It doesn’t matter if your video has 10 or 10 million views, if your channel has 500 or 500,000 subscribers, or if you use it for 2 weeks or 2 years.
After this example, you will better understand that:
“Royalty-free music = Music free of royalty payments.”
It is also important to remember that:
The term “royalty-free” refers to the license under which the music is obtained, not the music itself.
Now, we have mentioned the word “license” several times, but what is a license?
What are music licenses?
A music license is a legal permission, a type of agreement that allows the use of a song for a specific purpose and for some time.
It says, among other things, what you can and cannot do with the music track, and what rights are covered by the license.
Es decir, las partes de los derechos de autor que cubre dicha licencia.
That is why, depending on the use of the song, you will need one or more types of music licenses, among which are the following:
Public Performance License.
Note: you don’t need all of them to use a song in your projects.
But it is essential to know them and know which ones you need to be protected in each case.
For example, if you use a copyrighted song in a YouTube video, you would only need the sync license, the master license, and the public performance license.
When using royalty-free music obtained from online platforms, you will also need the same licenses.
However, there is a common problem that you should be aware of before choosing one of these music platforms.
The problem of royalty-free music licenses
When looking for royalty-free music on the Internet, you come across many platforms that offer it.
However, not all platforms include the licenses mentioned above -synchronization license, master license, and public performance license-.
The vast majority of platforms do not own all the economic rights to the music in their catalog. They only include the sync and master rights but rarely cover the public performance rights.
This fact leaves the users in an awkward and delicate situation for two reasons:
They will have to pay separately for public performance rights. This adds an unforeseen extra cost and makes them go through the cumbersome steps of acquiring the licenses – those they intended to avoid by subscribing to the music platform.
They expose themselves to getting copyright infringement claims, their content muted, blocked, or even taken down. In most cases, when the users subscribe to a music platform, they do not even know that they must purchase an additional license.
To avoid all these inconveniences, what is called direct licensing exists.
What is direct licensing?
Simply put, a straightforward music license covers all the necessary rights – including public performance rights – so you can use the music in your content.
This way, you can be sure that you are 100% covered against copyright claims, muted videos, blocked profiles, and other penalties.
Using royalty-free music through direct licensing gives you absolute freedom to use it in your videos and distribute them on any platform and in any country in the world.
But where can you find royalty-free music through direct licenses?
Epidemic Sound, the best directly-licensed platform
Epidemic Sound is one of the only platforms with direct licensing for its entire music catalog.
This Swedish company, a reference in the sector since its creation in 2009, has more than 12 years of experience offering quality music for audiovisual projects.
Its music library, constantly expanding, is one of the largest you can find on the Internet.
They have more than 90,000 sound effects and more than 35,000 music tracks, all of them created by the best independent artists.
And of course, all of them are licensed directly, which means that you can use them in any audiovisual work, any online platform, and anywhere in the world.
Epidemic Sound also has tools that will allow you to find the perfect music for your project in record time.
Epidemic Sound special tools
Find Similar allows you to save time by finding music tracks similar to those you have previously liked.
Stems let you develop your creativity by removing various sound elements from a music track, including vocals.
‘More of what you like’ gives you music recommendations based on the tracks you’ve downloaded recently from Epidemic Sound.
You will also have other useful tools at your disposal, such as ‘Clear Videos’, the perfect complement to your direct license.
With this option, you will be able to avoid any type of copyright claim, either present or future, for your projects or those of your clients.
You only have to add the links of your clients’ audiovisual works to the platform, and Epidemic Sound will take care of ‘clearing’ their videos from potential claims.
Of course, you should know that ‘Clearing Invitations’ is only available in Epidemic Sound’s commercial plan.
Epidemic Sound Subscription Plans
The commercial plan is only one of the three plans available on the platform:
The Personal Plan is dedicated to content creators or podcasters whose pieces are for their use.
The Commercial Plan proposes a solution for freelancers and companies whose projects are commercial in nature.
The Enterprise Plan is focused on media, publishers, or broadcasters who need a customized solution.
Choose the one that best suits your needs and enjoy the best music with direct license.
Now that you know more about the platform let’s see how its direct license works.
For a platform to provide a direct music license, it must first acquire all the rights to the music it provides.
As we said earlier, most platforms do not have all the rights because they do not have 100% exclusive music like Epidemic Sound.
Therefore they can only provide sync and master rights, but not public performance rights.
Epidemic Sound can provide you with all musical rights.
And the reason for this is straightforward: they are the sole owners of all financial rights to their entire music catalog.
Thus, you can use all their music in your content without paying more money by acquiring additional licenses.
Now, to be 100% protected with the direct license, you must follow these three simple steps.
3 steps to avoid copyright claims
At Epidemic Sound, it is very easy to avoid copyright claims. Once you are subscribed to the platform:
Log in to Epidemic Sound.
Click on “Me” > “Account” > “Subscriptions”.
Add the links to your social platforms.
And that’s it!
No small print, no time wasted in absurd procedures, no additional costs by acquiring licenses outside the platform.
In fact, the steps are so simple that they fit in a single image.
It is worth saying that the supported platforms are YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitch, and Podcast, and you will only be able to add one link per platform.
It is also important to mention that your videos will be cleared forever, even if you cancel your subscription.
As long as you upload a video during the time you have an active subscription, your content will be cleared.
But if you don’t add the links to the platforms in your profile or you don’t keep your subscription active, Epidemic Sound will not be able to recognize you as a user, and therefore you will be at risk of receiving copyright claims.
Getting quality music and legally using it in your projects doesn’t have to be a long and complicated process.
However, if you don’t want any unpleasant surprises or additional costs, don’t choose a random platform to download your music.
You already know that the vast majority of them do not have a direct license, which is what you need to have total peace of mind and avoid copyright claims.
Choose Epidemic Sound, which is one of the only platforms with royalty-free music and direct licenses.
This way, you are 100% assured that you have full rights to the music you use.
Besides, you’ve already seen all the additional features the platform offers you and how easy it is to protect your content: just add your social profiles in your user panel, and that’s it!
Avoid unnecessary complications and check out Epidemic Sound.
What are the benefits of direct licensing for artists?
One of the most widespread problems among artists is that they do not know where their music is being used or how many times it has been used.
As a consequence of such confusion, musicians feel cheated and not fairly remunerated.
Free licensing platforms like Epidemic Sound solve this problem.
Artists must assign all economic rights to their songs to the platform, receiving a fair payment in advance.
In this way, they avoid having to negotiate complex agreements to use their songs and spend their time doing what they love most: creating new music.
In addition, Epidemic Sound’s reward system is one of the best for artists.
They offer up to 50% of all royalties collected, both now and in the future, even if the composer does not collaborate with the platform anymore.
What are the benefits of direct licensing for content creators?
Music licensing is arguably one of the biggest headaches for content creators.
The complexity of the licensing process, coupled with the fine print of the licenses, means that many creators break the law without even knowing it.
Epidemic Sound’s direct license solves this problem at its root.
This license provides the creator with all the musical rights they need to avoid copyright infringement.
Pablo Olóndriz – Legis Music Founder-
Pablo Olóndriz founded Legis Music in 2016 and, since then, has been working non-stop on the online Royalty-Free industry, managing to build a great source of information for people who need amazing background music for their projects and videos.
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