image - Music with your videos

Are You Using Music On Your Videos?

image - Music with your videosIf you are using music on your videos, or want to, there are two things you need to think about before publishing. Short of finding that perfect match, you need to know if you are allowed to use the music and the proper way to give the owner credit. Let me explain…

Do you have the rights to use that music?

Just because you find something online, does NOT mean that are free to use it. If you think that everything on the web is yours for the taking, you will end up in a heap of trouble.

Even if you buy a piece of music, you need to make sure that the company you buy from is reputable. More than one site has been known to sell music that they did not even own the rights to. Take the time to find reputable companies before you buy something that will end up costing you a boatload.

Look for people in your community that would be willing to make a piece of music for you or has free music you can use. If they are not familiar with copyrights, take the time to explain that you want an original piece. If you have an online friend, then just send them a note (as I did with Ben Barden in the video below) and make sure it is ok to use their piece in your video.

Have you given proper credit to the owner of the music piece?

That’s right; you need to give credit where credit is due. Giving credit to those that have done the work makes you look more honest and reliable. Not giving full and blatant credit is just not fair and YOU end up looking like a jerk (or other not family friendly words). It can also save your bacon if copyrights are questioned.

The person who made the music will also be more willing to help you out or offer more tunes, if you have treated them with the respect their talents deserve.

I highly recommend that you give a text credit on the opening title and at the end of the video. That way when the video is embedded on other sites there will still be credit given no matter where the video sits.

I also believe you should give the Name of the artist, name of the song track and a link to the page where you found the download in the video description. Preferably, you do not link to the file itself but rather to the page where the download link is placed. This way others can see the artist’s guidelines for using their music and the visitors may find it easier to checkout more great music on the site. To see what I mean, just look at the description of this video –

If anyone is afraid to add links in their video description or credit in the title, get over yourself. You would be pissed if someone didn’t give you credit for your work!

Why is it so important to be diligent when using other people’s works in your videos?

If you are slack, lazy or greedy, Karma will bite you in the butt. And YouTube could also take down your video if the copyrights owner complains. In fact, YouTube could take your entire channel down if you get a couple of violations.

Another reason to connect to list the Artists name, song title and give the link, is because there are people that troll YouTube looking for videos with music and they will claim copyrights. It may not be their music but once they send a violation notice to YouTube about your video, you have a mess in getting it dismissed. YouTube may automatically shut down your video until it is straightened out. Now if you have all the info in your video description, these trolls most likely will not even bother with filing a bogus copyright notice. They figure that you have too much proof that it is not their music and they will just move on to the next video that is an easier target for their scam.

So here is a video that I quickly put together crediting the Owner of the Music and the Images. Oh, and Ben’s music can be found here.

Got questions or comments?

Use the comments section below!

Thank you Obsidian Dawn for the Gimp! brushes we used on our video image.

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys and nothing from this article should be considered or used as legal advice.

About Sheryl Loch

I am always learning new and improved ways to better our blogs, forum, and e-commerce sites. You can find me at The Internet Marketers Guild and +Sheryl Loch.
I tend to be a bit straight forward and sarcastic at times so ask for an honest opinion and you shall receive...even if it is not what you want to hear.


  1. Very true, fortunately I create my own music which I used in my videos and Podcasts. It is a serious point that you get across, just because you are a fan of a band and that their music is online does not give you the right to use it. It can lead to a lot of trouble.

    Places like will have people who will create a short piece for you and their are plenty of good sites where you can buy cheap licensed royalty free. Some are free as long as you give them the credit they ask for and deserve.

    And I didn’t know about the YouTube music copyright scam… Interesting.

    • Hi Andi, you are lucky that you can create your own music. That is a huge bonus.

      Thanks for mentioning Fiverr. I completely forgot that they have some music (jingle) people.

      Myself and a few others I know have dealt with the copyright scammers. I think a lot of people have no idea they are being scammed about the copyright and they just let it go.

  2. Great information. This is important for people to know, not only to make sure that they don’t infringe others’ rights, but also to protect against trolls.

    • Thanks for reading Carolyn!

      Sometimes we all need a reminder about crediting others for their work.

      As for the trolls…the more people that know they are out there, the harder it is for them to take advantage of people.

  3. Give them the credit, and sure enough it is fine to use that respective piece of music.

    YouTube does that in the description area of your video.

    I want to add music to my videos one day when I start producing them.

    • Yes Samuel, Youtube does partner with some singers, bands and producers to allow use of their music and they will automatically attribute a link to them. It’s the others music we need to credit ourselves.

      What are you waiting on, you can start making videos! ;-}

  4. Interesting article as it is not a topic i have seen discussed many times on blogs. Music can certainly add something to your site. Nice post.

  5. You have said a point which most of us actually just forget about! I have seen many YouTube videos using the famous Rock Bands music as a background part ! Another bigger example could be of “Sean parker’s ” Napster site! The Website was basically for the music sharing but Sony and other music companies created trouble for it because Napster was providing a Platform to share and use the music! Thanks

    • Hello Adrian, I think that sometimes people may be better off using original or not so popular music on their videos. Saves trouble from a big company that is out for blood (or money).

  6. Now I know that uploading videos if not your own is a big no! no, except if you have given the rights to published it. Simply means you must be always unique follow your own rules! your own ideas. thanks for this nice post.

    • Your Welcome Shey!
      You are right about uploading others videos…that can get you and your channel in a heap of trouble. I figure if you find a great video then just share it, add it to one of your playlist or use it as inspiration to make your own.

  7. Using music in a video as the background score makes the video more attention grabbing and interesting to watch. However, you have covered one extremely important point which cannot be overlooked and that is giving credits to the person responsible for that music.

    • Hi Alex, yes music can add to your video as long as you have the rights to use it. Just be careful that your music doesn’t distract from the message.

      Thanks for the comment.

  8. Anonymous (Read Comment Policy) says

    Great information. This is important for people to know, not only to make sure that they don’t infringe others’ rights, but also to protect against trolls

  9. Sheryl thank you for the tip. I just wanted to confirm that Youtube will take your video down at the smallest copyright related complaint. So I agree with you, on the internet you need to be extra careful with what you are “borrowing”.

    By the way: You may have heard about the myth that says you can use few seconds of a copyrighted song. That’s not true. You can not use it without royalties and attribution. There were some cases where the attacked side won in court based on this argument but that might not happen to you! 😛

    • I guess you have to ask yourself if that few seconds of free music is worth defending yourself in court and hope you win. I’d argue that many would consider the “attacked side” as the one who’s copyright was violated, not the one trying to get away with it.

      BTW, That anchorman hitting on the weather girl was pretty funny in your CommentLuv link. 🙂

    • Hi Julius, yes the old “only a few seconds” of music may end up costing you hours. I don’t think it is worth it at all.

      Youtube does of some free to use music and that would be the way to go if you want to play it safe. May not be the best music, but it won’t land you in court (a place I’d rather avoid). ;0

  10. i really like your article it’s very informative and knowledgeable for video blogging and using songs in it. it’s not good idea to use songs without any permissions.

  11. I’ve been willing to start a video tutorial for my blog and adding music on my videos is something which I would love to do. Thanks for the tutorial Brian.

  12. I have to admit that no, I’m not using music on my videos, nor am I editing anything. I haven’t quite figured out how to do any of it, and I’m not even sure I have the energy to do it. Also, man, there’s so much cheesy music associated with videos that it makes me blanch, so if I ever did decide to do it I’d have to have the coolest intro; maybe something from Public Enemy, but the “safe” stuff (yeah, like they had safe stuff lol).

    • Technically, Mozart would be public domain; however, a PERFORMANCE of his music would not. Very tricky stuff…

      I don’t write music; I don’t use music. 😉 Easy. (And yes, most of my images are from photos and photomanipulations I’ve made myself, or things I’ve asked Flickr members’ permission to use.)

    • Remember that “something audio” program a few years back? I honestly can’t remember the name of it even though I used it several times but it had some pretty bad background music. It didn’t seem that bad at first but it became so popular that it was on internet marketing sites everywhere. It got to the point where as soon as I heard one of those music intros start I couldn’t close the site fast enough. Was it Impact Audio? I don’t want to trash talk the wrong program. lol

    • Hey Mitch, I had to Google who “Public Enemy” was. Maybe they can write you an intro that is family friendly.

      People use a lot of cheesy music because that is what is widely available with rights.

      Have a fried Snickers Bar wrapped in bacon and that should give you a boost of energy to do editing…or not. LOL

  13. When it comes to music, the copyright laws are a lot tougher. I think the music industry had some serious pull when they were making the laws. Be careful on what you do with music.

  14. Great post, I was intrigued by the title because I had an interesting “situation” with music recently. I used GarageBand to create a short music for my videos by combining loops. When I uploaded it to Youtube, even though they say you can use GB music for your projects, YT recognized it as someone’s copyright and added that big fat note on my video. No biggie, but pretty annoying. One more reason to be careful 🙂

  15. interesting read , but sometimes background music on sites becomes annoying , i will try it on my youtube videos but are we allowed to use copyright music on background?

    • That’s a good point Saad, the wrong music or too loud will chase views away. I noticed that some people that seem to dislike their voice will try to cover it up with background music; that is very annoying. I guess this is the audio version of the dark or out of focus pictures for people who are self-conscious of their looks.

    • Hi saad, I don’t use music often if I am speaking. The 2 sounds can cause problems for many people.

      If the music is copyrighted and you don’t have a license to use it…you could end up with your video or channel taken down.

      BUT, some record companies do have a deal with Youtube and if you use that music, you will get a notice and you can accept the copyrights owner advertisement or take the music off your video.

  16. Holly Jahangiri says

    Also, it may be worth noting that just because you “buy” a piece of music doesn’t give you the right to use it, necessarily. You are actually buying a LICENSE – and that license needs to include performance/distribution rights. You buy a CD for personal use, you don’t have the right to use it in your videos. I think a lot of bloggers don’t understand this. Excellent post – much needed!

    • Another good point Holly, and when buying online you can’t always be sure you are buying from the true owner. We’ve seen that issue come up with images in the past.

    • Hi Holly, thanks for adding that. I forget that some people would not think about the difference in use. Just as some images and music are for non commercial use. Sure some people get by with it, but I would never be that lucky. LOL!

  17. These is great info. Its true that everything that is available online is not free so one really needs to be careful while picking things.

  18. As a matter of fact, i’ve done only 2-3 videos until now but fortunatelly i was blessed with a song writer / composer friend and he was kind enough to share some of his creation with me with no costs.
    But i saw this trend that everybody use anything for free just because it’s on the internet.

  19. Hi,

    I did not use music on my videos till now.The videos were interactive ones and I never thought of adding music to them. But this is a great way to air your videos. Of course, all the rules set above must be adhered to before doing anything of that sort.

    Thanks a lot for this enlightening post.


    • Good luck with it Amit, I hope the post helped.

    • Your welcome Amit.

      Youtube does have some free to use music and they also partner with some music companies that will allow you to use their music, but they will get to put an advert on that particular video.

      Just use good common sense when it comes to reading the copyrights and use terms.

  20. i have my youtube channel for music which my frnds made ……….i didnt know dat it can be so beneficial for me

  21. I think that right music can make the impression bigger, but only right one. And if you are not sure if you can choose it, you’d better add none.

  22. As you have said, adding music can be a great addition to your content, but issues with rights a legality can be VERY tricky to deal with. To add music to your site, you really must make absolutely, no doubt about it certain that you have the legal right to do so. Especially with the music business having a hard time with piracy these days, those who own the rights to the songs you may want to use will gladly come down hard on those who use them without their consent.

    • Hi Paul!

      Oh yes, the music industry can be very powerful and unforgiving if you use their product without their permission. I don’t wan them mad at me. ;-}

      I really don’t blame them since, they do have to work to make the product and everyone has a right to be compensated for their work.

  23. Funny, I just read a post the other day that talked about how to effectively use music on your blog and the impact it can have. But no where in that post did it point out the great posts that you have.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Give Credit!!

  24. yes i have been using music with my videos

  25. Michael Belk says

    Yeah it is very important to have the rights to music and other media. I wonder if you make a video for youtube do you give them all rights automatically? If that is true they are robbing a lot of intelligent creators.

  26. Using music videos on a blog is good. Besides getting useful tips, the viewer will be entertained better ways.

  27. The best way of attracting more visitors to your site is adding a video to the post which is relevant to the topic we write on. And adding music to these videos works as an add-on to the attention seeking part. It makes the video and the post more interesting to view.

  28. Excellent topic. This is something I get questions on all the time. YES I own the rights to my music. YouTube is really obsessive about this you don’t want to get banned for copying the favorite part of that hit jam you downloaded.

    With all the tools available why not try to create your own music?

  29. Using videos of others without their consent can lead to legal actions to the one who violated the rules but one can buy the copyrights if he really want to share the particular video or he can take permission from the owner.And giving credit will make him feel like a king so it should not be left behind.

  30. There is a vast variety of wonderful music available in this world that we can use as backgroud scores for our videos. Music that suits the video in the correct manner is more effective and has more impact. Yes ofcourse we should acquire the rights to use a particular music so that it is all legal.

  31. I’ve used not so popular music in my videos in the past, saved a lot of money that way too. Love the pic of the chipmonk, I was bitten once by one and boy does it hurt! My finger swelled up big time, it was really painful, especially for such a tiny creature…they area gorgeous though.

  32. This article really teach me that we should give credit to the owner of the video if we are using those video or we must have proper rights to use that video. Thanks author for sharing this information with us

  33. Anonymous (Read Comment Policy) says

    The person who made the music will also be more willing to help you out or offer more tunes, if you have treated them with the respect their talents deserve.

  34. There are a lot of copyright free music out there on the web. one just have to googled it out. Every body should be more aware when using music on their personal videos.

  35. I am not that much active in youtube but your blog really inspired me to use YouTube also.
    Thanks for posting and I will keep the things your mentioned in mind while uploading videos 🙂

  36. Thank you for this well-thought post. This is a great reminder for people who love uploading videos online. Always remember to give credits to the rightful owner of the music piece.

  37. Hi Sheryl,
    Your post is highly informative. Trolls have become a way of life for some but for some others who have no idea about trolling or are lazy enough to acknowledge the creator, your post is quite enlightening. Most of us tend to forget the crucial step of crediting the musician before uploading the video. It’s true that we don’t own the internet world, as you cited.

  38. Thanks for posting this!

    It’s very important to give credit to the people whose work you use; otherwise you can get into quite a bit of trouble. Webcopyplus was fines $4,000 last year for using a single photo without permission, so I’d imaging the fine would probably be much greater for taking a music clip without permission!

  39. Elaine Salt says

    This is really a food for thought. These are things which are really helpful to give respect to other people’s work and a piece of advice to those people who are using videos for spreading information or entertainment. This post is worth pondering for!

  40. Amazing articles!I guess this is the audio version of the dark or out of focus pictures for people who are self-conscious of their looks. but sometimes background music on sites becomes annoying , i will try it on my youtube videos but are we allowed to use copyright music on background.Well thanks for sharing this post.

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