Copyrighted Music In YouTube Videos - Limitations
In the past, there was no way to see if used audio material in your YouTube videos was allowed or not. You had to upload it first, and then see if there were any notices or actions taken against it, if it included copyrighted commercial music. However things changed in the past few years, and YouTube lets you know what will happen if you include specific audio tracks in your video, before uploading it.
- YouTube Audio Library
- YouTube Music Policies
- How can I know if copyrighted music is playing in my video?
Those who upload videos on YouTube (either to earn money or just as a hobby) have probably noticed that the use of music in a video is a particularly sensitive issue.
At the best case scenario, you cannot add ads on your videos, and also the videos won’t play on smartphones and tablets.
At the worst case, the owner of the copyrighted material may request from YouTube to completely remove the video, and if this happens a few times, then your account might be permanently banned.
YouTube, in an effort to support small producers, added an audio library which contains audio material that anyone can use without worrying about copyright issues. This music, which you can find in this link, is not protected by copyrights and you can use it freely in your videos.
There, you will find a wide range of tracks, from relatively unknown ones to famous classical music tracks.
Soon after adding this feature, YouTube also added the “Music Policies” feature (you can find it here). The name is slightly misleading, as it does not mean that you add your own ads when using content from this list; in fact, the opposite is usually the case. If you use any of these tracks in your video, the ad revenue will go to the copyright owner, and it will be impossible to add your own ads.
Clicking on any track from the list you will see all its details and implications if you include it (either the whole track or a part of it) in your video.
Also, there are cases where country restrictions are applied, usually in Germany, due to its very strict copyright laws. This means that users from these countries will not be able to view any video that contains this music.
Of course, there are cases in which more than 100 countries are excluded.
This tool will help you either avoid accidental use of copyrighted music, or at least know in advance the effects and limitations when using it.
The only drawback in this system is that you need to look for songs manually, using the title or artist.
So, if there is music in your video which was not added manually by yourself, and perhaps you don’t even know what kind of music it is, then you should somehow figure it out (using Shazam is a good way for doing that).