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How to use copyrighted music on YouTube legally

YouTubers frequently come across copyright claims when using a music track for their videos. Although these claims are common, using copyright music comes with a set of consequences that might result in the suspension of your account. YouTube has stringent laws when it comes to copyright infringement. But there’s always a way around it. In this blog, we will discuss the different ways in which you can use copyrighted music on YouTube videos legally.

Free music for YouTube videos


You can opt to use music from the public domain, free for everyone to use without facing any consequences. Any copyrighted music loses its copyright protection after a while and falls under the public domain. You can search for public domain music and find a long list of available options over the internet.

  • Ensure your country’s copyright laws before using any music from the public domain.
  • Do your research, too, rather than solely depending on the website’s information.
  • Don’t forget the YouTube Audio Library is filled with free music. This library provides creators with royalty-free music without any copyright.

Permission from owner


Another way to use copyrighted music for your YT videos is securing a license or permission from the music track owner.

How to get permission to use a copyright music track?

First, you need to find out who owns the copyrighted music track you plan on using. Look for ways to contact them through emails or calls and understand what rights you require.

How to find the copyright owner?

Tracking down the owner of a song is a challenging task. For creators based in the United States, you can look for their contact information on SESAC, BMI, or ASCAP. Members can only belong to one of these organizations, so if you don’t find them in one organization’s database, you can look at the others. Under their title, you should find their contact information. You can also look for the owners through PRS for Music or PPL.

How to secure copyrighted music permission?

Now that you have tracked down the copyrighted music owner, draft a formal email stating your identity, the music you would like to use, and the reason behind using it. Don’t forget to include your contact details through which they will contact you along with a written agreement with their signature on it.

The fee to obtain a license depends on the artist. It varies from $100 to thousands of dollars if the track belongs to a huge record label. Read the terms of the license carefully before getting into it.

Reuse music from YouTube music videos

To reuse music from YT music videos, you need to secure a Creative Commons license. Creators can use these videos through YouTube Video Editor. While creating any video using CC content, YouTube will directly attribute the source under the video player.

How to find Creative Commons content on YouTube?

  1. Search for a video
  2. Click on the “Filters” tab on the left-hand side.
  3. Click on “Features” > “Creative Commons.”

YouTube will display all the videos that fall under the Creative Commons license.


As we come to the end of this blog, I hope your doubts about using copyrighted music on YouTube are now resolved. As mentioned above, YouTube is very strict about its copyright policies. You can read in-depth about their policies here. They have everything from fair use to making claims. But this shouldn’t stop your creativity from flowing, and so you can use the above tips to continue content creation on YouTube. Also, don’t miss out on our blog YouTube Premium: 5 reasons why you should have it.