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 are royalty-free music and copyright-free music?
Royalty-free means a licensee can use a work without owning the copyright or paying royalties on a per-use basis.
Copyright-free means the copyright itself has expired or a second party has acquired the right to use that work.
These two terms are used interchangeably, but the fact of the matter is that they couldn’t be any more different.
Copyrights and royalties cover two different concepts.
A copyright protects a licensor that charges a royalty to use intellectual property.
Usually, 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, usually -but not always- you would pay a fixed price for the license, instead of having a variable fee over time that can depend on your views or subscribers, for example.
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.
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 can leave the end-users in a delicate situation, where they expose themselves to getting copyright 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 might have to purchase an additional license.
This is not a huge risk, as claims are managed on the recording side, but it can still happen. To avoid any inconvenience for sure, 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.
Epidemic Sound also has tools that will allow you to find the perfect music for your project in record time, so let’s review them:
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.
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.