Licensing music in 2023 can be expensive. A hassle. Complicated. The world is at your fingertips but nothing seems clear – something as simple as using music in your content can cause legal headaches. Let’s talk about licensing, claiming, and how Epidemic Sound saves you trouble when you need music for your content.
If you use copyrighted music in content without the proper rights and licenses, the track’s rights-owner can copyright claim the uploaded content. A copyright claim is a formal complaint that can have legal consequences.
When you get a copyright claim on YouTube, for example, one of three things can happen to your video:
- Block: Blocks the content from being seen or heard.
- Track: Allows the claimant to track viewer activity.
- Monetize: Lets the claimant run adverts against the video and generate revenue.
How to license music and avoid copyright infringement claims
If you want to avoid copyright claims, you need to make sure you either own the rights, or have a license, to use the music you've chosen.
Owning all the necessary rights to a piece of music involves holding the rights to the master recording, composition, performance, and all the underlying music. This essentially means you have to have written, recorded and released it by yourself.
If you don't want or have the means to produce your own music, you can get a direct license to a track or an entire music catalog. This way, you bypass all the complicated licensing agreements you might come across when dealing with several different rights holders, labels and legal teams.
With an Epidemic Sound Subscription, your channels will be safelisted. Just let us know which channels you use to publish content, then you can use our royalty-free catalog of 35,000 tracks and 90,000 sound effects without worrying about claims or takedowns.
How does a direct music license work?
To understand direct licensing, we need to understand what royalty-free music is. ‘Royalty-free’ means you can use a track in your content without paying royalties to artists or rights holders every time it’s played. However, royalty-free music doesn’t automatically include certain things like public performance rights, meaning you might still have to pay royalties when you publish it on digital platforms.
Epidemic Sound’s music is more than just royalty-free. What sets us apart is that we own all rights to our music, which means we can offer you a direct license. Synchronization rights, mechanical rights and public performance rights? All included. Additional fees or royalties? Forget about it. As long as you’re using an active Epidemic Sound account and have safelisted your relevant channels, you can use our music worry-free in your content, safe from copyright claims.
You can use one account – be that a channel, profile, page or RSS – per platform. That way, the content you publish featuring our tracks will be cleared from music copyright claims forever, as long as it's uploaded while you have an active subscription.
Even if your subscription has ended, content created and published within your active period will remain cleared.
However, there can be hiccups if you don’t follow these steps. Suppose you publish videos containing our music once your subscription has ended. In that case, we can't recognize you as a licensed user. This means you'll run the risk of receiving copyright claims from us.
What happens if I use Epidemic Sound music after my subscription ends?
If someone uses our music without a license, we monetize it by running ads. This might sound scary, but don't worry. A claim from us doesn’t mean your content will be taken down, muted or blocked. We’re simply making a request for any ad revenue generated so that we can keep paying our artists to create even more great music.
Before activating any copyright claim, we go through a detailed review process, in which we carefully investigate whether the supposedly unlicensed user does have a license or not. If they do, we naturally don't activate the claim.
To learn about music copyright and licensing in a more visual format, check out our video with Epidemic Sound ambassador CJ Unplugged below.
Content creators use Epidemic Sound because it provides quick and easy access to a top-tier catalog of royalty-free music, worry-free. Get in touch if you have any questions. Otherwise, check out the 30-day free trial below.