How do I find music that won’t get flagged for copyright violations?

Someone wrote in to ask about how to find music that won’t get flagged for copyright violations by sites like YouTube or Facebook.  As more people are producing videos for online use, they are running into the challenge of finding music to use without having their accounts taken down.

YouTube has been flagging copyrighted content for a while, but different content gets flagged in different ways.  Some companies will allow a song to be used if the video is non-commercial while others won’t allow any use of their music. In recent years the music industry has put greater pressure in more places for proper royalties – including HUGE lawsuits against photographers and individuals who are guilty of copyright infringement. If you’re producing videos – and especially as someone who is doing commercial work, you’ll need to be careful to use “Royalty Free” music. This is music that -for a fee- is licensed for commercial use.  You’ll need to keep this in mind even if you just want background music for your web site.

Generally how it Royalty Free music works is that you’ll need to pay for a license to use the music then you’re good to go for the term of that license (some places do a number of years, others are unlimited on length but limit the number of projects that the track can be used on).

A Google search for “Royalty Free music” should get you started. You can also look for Creative-Commons music that is ok for commercial use. Finding good stuff is still challenging – especially if you’re looking for something urban.

I’m currently using music that is licensed through:

I’ll be updating this post with additional resources as I find them.  Also, feel free to leave sites you’ve used in the comments section and let us know what you like about them.
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