To be clear, this is me fooling around—I am making zero money off of this. I also believe that the band for the song I'm thinking of—specifically Caravan Palace—can and definitely should receive all benefits from any use of their music. (They're brilliant, and I'm a fellow artist and big fan.)

This is most certainly not about dodging copyright claims. It's about working with them.

I'm midway through a project involving animated, dancing Brood X cicadas, and would like to put it to music. This will involve a good bit of animation work, as it needs to be to-the-beat. In the worst case, I might use something old enough to be beyond significant copyright concern, or mix something together myself from licensed sounds; but if I wanted to use this particular track, what would my concerns be?

Granted, I'm not making anything but reputation off of it, but that doesn't mean that the band and its producers shouldn't receive income from their work regardless of context. So, I'm not sure whether this qualifies as "fair use" or not. If I did get a hold of the record company, what could I be expected to pay, or agree to, for licensing? I'm sure this isn't the first time this issue has come up.

I've published a lot of material on YouTube so far and I'm quite familiar with the copyright checker; and it's never had anything to complain about with my videos before. I want to do this right, or find another option.

I heard once that it's possible for the video, given an established interest, to send ad revenue to the copyright holders instead of me, which would be fine; but I'm not entirely sure how I would rig that. Since we're talking about potentially a couple of weeks of work, I would like to figure this out sooner rather than later.

  • 5
    If you post the video on YouTube it will detect the audio track copyright holders and direct the revenue to them. In the worst case scenario for you the video will be just taken down.
    – Greendrake
    Jun 29, 2021 at 4:26
  • Note that almost anything is fine in copyright law as long as you have the permission from the copyright holder. But the more successful they are compared to you, the less likely they are to even talk to you.
    – Philipp
    Jun 29, 2021 at 8:48
  • It's looking more and more like it will be worth my time to compose something original for this. I honestly think they would be interested in the final product; but it will likely be months before I hear back from them and it'll require a demo, which might (barring approval) be thrown out. Thanks guys. Jun 29, 2021 at 14:16
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    @Greendrake AFAIK, in the worst case scenario, don't you get permanently banned off YouTube after 3 violations? If you are lucky they will just put ads on your video and send the revenue to the band (which the OP is fine with, or even wants to happen), but you can't really know whether that's what will happen, before it does.
    – user253751
    Jun 29, 2021 at 17:00
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    You can get royalty-free music from some stock services. It's usually pretty cheap (less than $100 per track) if you'll only be distributing the video on the web. If I recall correctly, Adobe Stock has a free trial where you can get a handful of songs for free.
    – user45623
    Jun 30, 2021 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


An audio recording clip of recorded music is almost never fair use, outside of a music performance review or in a music appreciation class.

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