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?


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 '15 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 '15 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 '15 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 '15 at 0:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.