A Guide for YouTube Content Creators: How to Use Copyrighted Music on YouTube

As a YouTube content creator, finding the right music to enhance your videos is crucial. However, navigating the complexities of copyright laws can be a challenge. With millions of copyrighted songs available, it’s important to understand how to legally and responsibly use copyrighted music on YouTube. In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the world of copyrighted music, ensuring you can enhance your content without facing copyright issues.

Understand Copyright Basics: Copyright law grants exclusive rights to creators of original works, including music. It means that you cannot use copyrighted music in your videos without obtaining proper permission or a licence from the copyright holder/s. However, there are certain situations where you may be able to use copyrighted music under the principles of fair use or through licensing agreements.

Utilise Royalty-Free Music: Royalty-free music is a popular choice for YouTube creators. It refers to music that is available for use without requiring individual licensing for each use. Many websites offer royalty-free music libraries, where you can find a wide variety of tracks to suit your videos. However, be sure to carefully review the terms of use for each track to ensure compliance and remember you get what you pay for.

Explore Creative Commons Licensed Music: Creative Commons licences provide a framework for artists to share their work while retaining certain rights. There are various Creative Commons licences, and some allow for non-commercial use or modification. Platforms like SoundCloud offer a vast collection of Creative Commons licenced music that you can use in your YouTube videos, as long as you comply with the specific licence terms

Seek Permission from Copyright Holders: If there’s a particular copyrighted song you’d like to use, consider reaching out to the copyright holder/s directly to request permission. Some artists or record labels may grant you permission, especially if your video aligns with their brand or message. Remember to obtain written permission and clarify any specific terms or conditions for usage.

Utilise YouTube’s Content ID System: YouTube’s Content ID system is designed to help copyright holders identify and manage their content on the platform. When you upload a video, the Content ID system scans it for copyrighted material. If your video contains copyrighted music, several outcomes may occur: the video may be blocked in certain regions, ads may appear on your video with revenue going to the copyright holder, or the copyright holder may choose to monetise the video themselves.

Obtain Proper Licences: To legally use copyrighted music in your YouTube videos, consider obtaining licenses from music licensing companies or directly from artists or record labels. These licences typically come with specific terms and conditions, such as limitations on platforms, territories, or the number of views. Platforms like Epidemic Sound, Artlist, and AudioJungle offer extensive libraries of licensed music for YouTube creators.

Educate Yourself about Fair Use: Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows for the limited use of copyrighted material without permission in certain circumstances, such as commentary, criticism, parody, or educational purposes. However, determining fair use can be subjective, and legal judgments are made on a case-by-case basis. If you believe your use of copyrighted music falls under fair use, it’s essential to understand the legal factors and consult with a legal professional if necessary.

Monitor Your Video’s Performance: Regularly monitor your video’s performance on YouTube, especially if you’ve used copyrighted music. YouTube’s Content ID system may flag or restrict your video’s accessibility due to copyright claims. Stay vigilant, respond to notifications promptly, and take necessary actions to ensure your videos comply with copyright regulations.


Using copyrighted music on YouTube can be a complex process, but with the right knowledge and strategies, you can enhance your content while respecting copyright laws. Consider exploring royalty-free music, Creative Commons licensed music, seeking permission from copyright holders, or obtaining proper licences to use copyrighted music in your videos.

In addition, Resonant Music Licensing offers a comprehensive solution for YouTube content creators. With their subscription-based music licensing service, you can access an extensive library of copyrighted music for a simple monthly or annual subscription fee. This allows you to use an unlimited amount of high-quality music without worrying about copyright issues. Resonant Music Licensing provides the convenience and peace of mind you need to elevate your YouTube content with the perfect soundtrack.

Remember, it’s essential to always stay informed about copyright laws, monitor your video’s performance, and ensure compliance with YouTube’s policies. By doing so, you can create engaging and captivating videos while respecting the rights of copyright holders.

Enhance your YouTube content with Resonant Music Licensing and unlock the power of copyrighted music for your videos today!