I made a video and uploaded it to YouTube. I created the video, but I attached an audio track I found online for free.

How do I know if I am allowed to use this audio in this way?

If I pay for creative works like music, songs, graphics, etc., do I infringe the copyright of the work if I post those in a video I upload to YouTube?

2 Answers 2


The author of that work owns its copyright. Barring a licence that gives you the right to use it, you are infringing copyright. (I'm assuming no fair use in this case; i.e. the YouTube clip isn't actually about the audio track.)

If you pay for licences, make sure the licence allows for the purpose you intend to use it for.

  • Hmm... So how am I get the license? I'm inexperienced to this kind of thing.
    – Happy Face
    Oct 24, 2015 at 16:41
  • 1
    If you really want that one song, you can try to find a way to contact that SoundCloud member. Many amateur producers that are just starting out would be happy to let you use their work in a video... Maybe with the condition that you give then credit. A licence can be as simple as them telling you that you are allowed to use/reproduce the work and optionally any limitations or conditions.
    – user248
    Oct 24, 2015 at 17:05

When I buy a CD of "Pee Wee Herman Sings Abby Road," (fictitious) I am "licensed" to listen to it. If I then want to use it in sychronization with a creative video I've made, I must obtain a synchronization license.

When I go out to soundcloud and find a track, I must do the exact same thing. The fact that it is downloadable for free from soundcloud doesn't give you synchronization license.

  • 2
    Re: "What makes you think you have license to use that audio within your own project?": I don't get the impression that the OP thinks that. Rather, the OP seems to be trying to ask whether that is the case.
    – ruakh
    Oct 24, 2015 at 20:23
  • Actually, ruakh, I think that's exactly the impression. The premise, as I'm reading it anyway, is "if I find something somewhere that I don't have to pay for in order to listen to it, is that fair game for my synchronization use?"
    – dwoz
    Oct 25, 2015 at 0:13

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