Where to buy music and photo copy right?

Ding's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 08/20/2010 - 12:04am

Dear all,

I am a new videographer, and I just established my own video produciton comany. When I uploaded a few my works on youtube, I got email form youtube and says content ID matched with my video or some of the music in my video is own by sony music recording company. you tube says that they will not take action this time, but I am worried next time they will ban me out :-(

Also, Since I am doing commercial business, any video DVD I made for my customer has copyrighted muisc content inside. Even those muisc are Legally downloaded from I TUNE, I still need to buy the copy right for each song or a yearly contract for all songs. Where can I buy it?

What about photos, if I buy the pictures from fotosearch.com, can I put them in my conmercial video?

Thanks for all your help in advance!


H. Wolfgang Porter's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator


Music 'legally downloaded from iTunes' are for individual personal consumption only. iTunes and other services like it are 'consumer based'. That meaning you purchase the permission to listen to it, not use it for anything else. Used to be you could use stuff like that under the 'fair use' guidelines long as you didn't try to repackage the work for sale.

Your client did not have the rights from Sony (the rights holder) to use said music in their video. If they do which I doubt, they need to produce the documentation asap. Those DVD's you made with that illegal music carry a penalty should Sony move on you with litigation for selling them without their consent. Each disc they prove you sold carries an individual penalty which according to copyright law will be held against you the distributor. Average penalties for each instance of infringement run upwards of $50k.

The 'Tube actually did you a favor by blocking your upload which brought this to your attention. Your best bet is to 'can' all the finished DVDs with the illegal music on them asap. If possible, you should recut the video to royalty-free music as to avoid this kind of costly amateur mistake. The good thing is you caught this in time and asked questions here.

Yes, when you purchase photos, music, graphics and so on from services like fotosearch or whatever, make sure you read the fine print on what you can and cannot do with the materials. The main things to look for are 'royalty-free', 'without restrictions' and 'without time limits'. The legit services and vendors will have most or all of those phrases in their 'eula's'. If you don't see any of those phrases, move on to a service that does.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com

birdcat's picture
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

If you run a search on these forums for "royalty free" you'll get a plethora of sources for royalty free assets of all types (music, graphics, stock video & photos, etc...).

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com

Ding's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 08/20/2010 - 12:04am

Composite 1 and birdcat,

Thank you 2 gentlmen! I am admire for your knowlege, and I will search for Loyalty free meterial for my video production.

H. Wolfgang Porter's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator


You're welcome and that's 'Royalty-Free'. Good luck.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com

ccardell's picture
Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: 05/05/2010 - 3:51pm

For affordable royalty-free music that you can use for commercial purposes and legally on YouTube, you might also try MusicRevolution.com https://www.musicrevolution.com , an innovative online marketplace for royalty-free production music. I amthe co-founder.

faqvideo's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 03/28/2006 - 4:09pm

Photosearch links to various outlets. You should look at the usage policy, i. e. Editorial, Personal Use, Right-Managed or Royalty Free. The latter gives you the option to commercially use with stipulated limitations - check the fine print. istockphoto.com is a huge source of cheap royaly free images.

MediaFish's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 05/25/2011 - 2:06pm

I use videoblocks.com for royalty free audio, video, and still stock photos.

Jeff Media Fish Productions

daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 6 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

@mediafish: I am really liking this site! Thanks a lot! :)

The Tune Peddler's picture
Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: 02/10/2012 - 8:22am

Here's a few really good places for royalty free music that you can use in your productions.

(warning - shameless self promotion..) Thetunepeddler.com is a subscription based production music library that has had music used on the Discovery Channel, History Channel, Nat Geo and others. You can download all the tracks you want for a single fee. It's quick and simple and is constantly being updated with new tracks. Check out our "Free Tunes" page for some complimentary tracks.

?Greg is an in-demand musician in Nashville so you know these tracks are gonna sound great. They are mostly guitar oriented tracks but there are a ton of different styles. Also, they are free with credit given

This site was started by Kevin MacLeod and it was one of the most talked about sites I found when I was doing research for my site. The tracks are totally free, however he has a donation button if you would like to support him. Definitely check this one out.

garyjay's picture
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Joined: 06/10/2012 - 12:57pm

When using music you are supposed to pay copyright fees. Even if you have a shop that plays background music off a radio or cd, you are supposed to pay someone.

For more info in paying copyright then visit the MCPS here: http://www.prsformusic.com/USERS/Pages/default.aspx

Other than that there are loads of royalty free music out there from places like Digital Juice.com, or video copilot.net etc. Or you could even contact the record company directly which can be hard work, but not impossible.

Hope that helps

TimofeyOstanin's picture
Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 01/20/2013 - 3:26am

Hi! you can use my Royalty-free music from my portfolio

or visit my website :)


Kind Regards



Dan O'Connor's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 08/03/2009 - 12:12am

Well of course you can check out my danosongs royalty free music site.


I also recommend jewelbeat, incompetech and mr tune peddler. 


Dan-O FREE Royalty Free Music Producer


paulears's picture
Last seen: 2 days 18 hours ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

even those of us who deal with copyright clearance frequently still have trouble doing it correctly - it takes a considerable amount of effort to get it done. As mentioned above, plenty of copyright free music is available - but the description is confusing. Copyright is never free - in terms of there is no copyright. Somebody has the rights and they can allow you to use it free if they wish. Others advertise copyright free music and then charge you a license fee. Youtube and Spotify and the rest sell you music, but if you really read the contract terms, they're just selling you the right to use the music for a specific purpose - you don't own it at all.


UK TV adverts, that use music and show it to millions of people usually re-record the song with sound alikes - they then only have to pay the composer, not the record company or the artistes who recorded. So that's a kind of 50% discount - ish. We produce our own music, 'in the style of', but different enough to be considered a new product. We then charge them assign them the rights for a specific period, after which, it reverts to use for potential future use, although that's rare. 


Clients always say they want to use X music. We then say fine, and we get a price for the useage, finding out it's almost the same price as the entire project means plan B, and we then charge them a lot less for something we produce ourselves.


Depending on the purpose, it can be cheaper to pay somebody to play a piece of 'older' music on a grand piano than something modern.


As for youtube - I wouldn't worry. The only pain is when the identify commercial music, they slap an advert on it for many composers/record companies, who get the money - they only remove the audio or whole thing when the work in question is on their do not use list. Sometimes they will also ask you to confirm you own the copyright if their software detects a probable, but not certain match. Only repeat serious offenders get banned.

scubajam's picture
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/04/2010 - 4:42am


I'm a bit surprised you have started a production company without this basic knowledge.  Copyright, whether images, audio, or video clips by others, and even sayings and quips can get you in big trouble.  That, and having a library of waivers for client, talent, and all to sign is the very basic must-have for all production companies.  If you do weddings, the bride will want "her" music for their dance, soundtrack, etc.  Can't do it!!  Even the traditional "Happy Birthday" song is copyrighted.  There are some ways around it, but it gets complicated and expensive.  One way is to tell clients the synchronization rights (which is what you buy - meaning you can only sell or distribute (even YouTube) with the audio if it's inside a video (prevents you from producing and selling CD's to compete with them))  will cost $10K or more, just for one song, plus your regular production costs.  That might be a bit high (or maybe not), but it makes the point to your client about how expensive using copyrighted music can be.  And the huge hassle.  Sometimes the song is owned by one entity, such as Sony, and it's a one stop buying process.  Other times you must get OK and pay the song writer, arranger, producer, artist, etc.  On the other hand, you can get permission from some bands or artists to use their ORIGINAL (only) music.  (and get it in writing)  I have such permission from two artists who produce scuba songs, but sometimes they create new lyrics to copyrighted melodies and they can't give permission to use those.  Original music and lyrics only.  There are some good free music sources.  One is military bands.  Each military base and such as the Air Force Adademy and all the others, have not just marching bands, but string quartests, orchestras, and many more.  They have mp3's online and are careful to only make available old classic songs out of copyright.  Another is archive.org and check out old recordings.  Some cylinder, 78's, etc.  Most are out of copyright, but you must check each song.  Some are capable of being copyrighted, but can be used with "attribution."  Means just give them credit and point listeners to their website or source and you can use.  As a small production company you're usually under the radar, but knowledge and caution to clients will put them on notice you are a true, knowledgeable professional.  Of course you want your videos to go viral - and that's when your p's and q's had best be perfect.  And you do know about getting permission and often paying to shoot on different venues - such as in a building, even a public park MAY require permission for commercial production shoots.  And a business license (often for each city you work in), and insurance, and .....    Good luck on your new company.


Here's a sample of free music I used - the opening is music from the Air Force Academy.  The video is too long, but was made for fly-in participants not general public; listen to the first couple songs and get the idea. &nbsp

And...  Vimeo is usually less hassle on these issues than YouTube ; )


ethanloomis's picture
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/09/2017 - 11:05am

Just wanted to recommend a site that has saved me a LOT of time as far as music selection.

As a fellow filmmaker, I would like to recommend Soundstripe. Soundstripe is currently offering a 10% discount through my referral link:


Just type in the code STRIPE10 at checkout to receive this discount which is good for the yearly price; save a lot of money that way! This website will save you so much time in the long run, you won't be searching for music for your video projects anymore. Soundstripe was a HUGE time saver for me. I can't rave about it enough. They understand the film industry and want to come alongside filmmakers to provide great audio/music tracks for your projects.
For a small monthly or yearly fee ($15/month or $135/year) you can gain unlimited access to the ENTIRE Soundstripe library, no more fees beyond that. You can sort by genre, mood, pace, duration, instrument and more. The quality of music on their website is better than most websites that I've seen; I use their music in my videos all the time. Anyways, hope this is helpful!


fixer in turkey's picture
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/12/2017 - 9:43am

Hi everyone,
We mostly use Audiojungle license music for the corporate videos we make.
It's much cheaper compared to the similar resources, so you might have to dig deeper to find good tracks, but definitely worth a try.


Alice Ng's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/20/2017 - 12:44am

Adding one more alternative source to buy music for your film project: http://www.abcroyaltyfree.com/
They offer royalty free music with huge collection, can get all kind of music you need with subscribe fee 50$ per month. I came accross this website for about a year ago and I think it's pretty good. For footage you can either use Pond5, or Shutterstock also have some nice ones. But as student I only use music with free download haha...

“I have been interested in dreams, really since I was a kid. I have always been fascinated by the idea that your mind, when you are asleep, can create a world in a dream and you are perceiving it as though it really existed.” – Christopher Nolan

SSands's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 02/02/2018 - 11:00am

https://www.totalmediatracks.com is my go-to site to find pre-cleared music for my films.
They have a great selection of music and VERY affordable and flexible licensing.

Hope this helps :)

davepd2's picture
Last seen: 2 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 02/14/2018 - 11:11am

some of the artists on http://freemusicarchive.org/ allow commercial license use for free. I used a cool track when I created this fun video:

The artist even commented on the video. Just make sure you follow the license requirements for each song.

Browse Affordable Stock Footage
Visit RP Stock