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Thread: Music copyrights in America for videos with advertising?

  1. Question Music copyrights in America for videos with advertising?

    Sorry if this isn't the right place to post this, but I didn't think it'd go anywhere else...

    Ok let's say I own a business. I want to make a video to put on YouTube and the song I want to use is copyrighted. My business's logo would be in that video, do I have to get permission from the composer in order to legally use that song?

    In the past I raced in a regional cross-country ATV series and made videos (on YouTube) with my GoPro. I added copyrighted music to the footage quite often, and I displayed my sponsors' logos in those videos. My sponsors didn't pay me to race, didn't pay me to put their logo in the video, nobody got paid to do anything. It was just a fun thing for me to do and I got their names out more with it. Nobody ever said a word about what I was doing was wrong, so that raises the question of whether what I'd do with my business logo is ok or not. I googled the question and found some results but nothing with a definite pinpoint; some of what I read made it sound like there WAS NO definite pinpoint on it...

    Just wondering if anyone had a clue about this... haha


  2. #2


    This is not legal advice.

    Yes you need permission but it depends on what the song is who you need the permission from. You could do what I once did find out who wrote a song get there phone number and ask them directly. If that works for you then great. However you are also getting into the area of copyright law, performance rights etc. So you may need to pay a licence fee for a particular track the type of licence depends on the usage and final delivery. Unfortunately uploading to the web usually means a more expensive licence compared to a
    limited distribution of DVDs.

    So track will just not be available at all as the artist will not want their material associated with anything else.

    It can be a mine field and does need to be tided up BUT I'm just talking about the UK and you are in America which brings on a whole new level of complexity which I have no experience.

    The way I see it is you can take out any 3rd party advertising and then just post it onto YouTube and let them put adverts on the video and restrict the viewing in some countries, in line with their current agreements with the music industry or you should just find another piece of music which is royalty free. The latter would be the best choice and the one I always go for.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    Not legal advice.
    Music is a nightmare, and if you use a "popular" tune without permission, the fee they want goes up. That's why some films will write a similar-song ( so I understand), so as to fit the film, yet avoid having to pay silly money for the Original. Of course, when you are famous, music copyright businesses may drop the fees since it should promote their back-catalogue.

    I thought YT were able to take fees from copyright holders and if your music meets certain limits then you can expect a legal letter, or the posting taken down ( Has this happened to anyone here? )..... so getting clearance FIRST is by far the best policy.... -OR- find a song-writing friend that wants the Glory . . . but get a Release-Form before posting.

    Good Luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    You need permission to use copyrighted material

  5. #5


    Always get your permission in writing with a signature. If the license conditions are listed on a homepage note the link and make a screenshot.

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