The one thing that can turn your GoPro video from mediocre to awesome is a great soundtrack. With nearly everyone having their music collection in digital or MP3 format, it is so easy to use you favourite song or commercial music to amp up your video. One problem though, commercial music is protected by copyright law and if you haven’t paid to use the music you are Breaking the LAW.
We need not dispute copyright law or the fact that by using commercial music we are in fact breaching these laws. Musicians need to be paid for their work, and we do need to remember that their music is their job.
With copyright law under constant review around the world, there is no guarantee that your videos will remain online forever if you have used commercial music that you do not own the rights to. YouTube is forever battling and mediating with record labels regarding user’s videos. One day, if the laws change too dramatically, YouTube will be forced to remove the music from our videos, or just remove the videos altogether. Same goes for other websites like Vimeo and Facebook etc.
So, how do you get around the copyright issues of commercial music? Well, it’s pretty simple, you have 3 choices:
- Pay for the rights to the commercial music you use
- Use it and risk a lawsuit from the artist or the record label
- Use free or purchased Creative Commons (Royalty Free) music
The rights to use commercial music are quite expensive and are usually priced on a pay per play basis. Now as you could imagine, with your videos being posted online, it is impossible to estimate how many times a video will be played and therefore it is impossible to know how much the use of a song will cost.
Free Creative Commons Music
There is quite a bit of free music out there that is allowed to be redistributed and reused without the need to pay the artist royalties. Free Creative Commons, or Free Royalty Free music is kindly offered to the community by the artist and can be used as per that artists terms and conditions. More often than not the music can be reused as an accompaniment to your videos and can be redistributed as often as you would like. Most of the FREE music out there is of pretty average quality. Yet occasionally you may stumble across that perfect tune that you need for your video, but searching for this golden nugget can be quite time consuming.
Purchased Creative Commons Music
You are probably thinking, why pay for Creative Commons music when I can get it FREE? The answer is, You get what you pay for! There is a bit of free music available if you spend a whole lot of time searching for it and then sifting through the tracks trying to find one that is of reasonable quality and actually matches your requirements. But you will find that paid for Creative Commons music is of much higher quality and published on websites with much better descriptions and searchability, making it much quicker and easier to find exactly what you are after, besides, the paid for tracks aren’t very expensive. Prices for tracks range from a couple of dollars per song all the way up into the hundreds, yet you will find that most songs range from $10 to $30 each. This may sound expensive, considering you can purchase a song on iTunes for a couple of dollars, but your purchased Creative Commons track is able to be reused as many times as you want, LEGALLY.
Here is a list of sites I have found with quality, Creative Commons tracks and a variety of genres, so you should be able to find something that will suit just about any style of video you are creating.
- AudioMicro – A massive collecting of categorised tracks with many genres to choose from. Easily searchable content with intuitive descriptions make finding what you want quick and easy
- Beats365 – Modern hip hop beats, instrumentals and sound effects. Great value with a one time payment for access to the entire collection. If this music fits your video style, you don’t need to look any further
- DanoSongs – A great selection of tracks and genres to suit any style of video. 77 tracks for a one time fee
- AudioJungle – Another site with thousands of soundtracks, intros and sound effects. Well categorized and not very expensive at all. I haven’t seen anything over $20.00, apart from their packs / bundles