Monday, July 12, 2010

Friendly Music for Non-Commercial Videos

For those of us that have been creating web video we have a never ending struggle to add music to our videos. Many of us did try to go to the office music license sites. We plowed through gibberish and bad search features. We tried to find the actually license owners.

When we did find the owner we learned that we didn't have $10,000 or more to rent the song for one use on a certain day under draconian conditions.

Fine. We work with musicians who do want us to share their music under their terms. Well, there is another option. could be an alternative to those folks that want an affordable music license for their videos.

For $1.99 it is worth taking the time to check it out.

As always, I want to know the details and the gotchas.

You visit and find a tune you want to place in your video. You find that bit of honey that you can afford currently $1.99 for a tune. You download the .mp3 and place it in your video.

According to the site's FAQ you are purchasing a synchronization (synch) license. One tune + one video. You can upload to places like YouTube, Vimeo and other sites and you won't get hassled or have your video yanked.

You can use segments of the song or the whole thing but just for that one specific video. However, the music can only be used for non-commercial purposes.

Define non-commercial. Back to the FAQ:

It means that if you are being paid to make your video, or are charging people to watch your video, or if you are getting revenue from advertising or other sources (other than UGC Network ad share revenue on the video portion of your production) when people watch your video then you have to contact us to negotiate an additional license fee.

The overlay ad that many web hosts place over the video? That is not a problem. That is ok because it is being done by the video web host, not you.

If you have products and services that you sell on your web site and you have audio from in your video you probably can't use the synch license.

If you have Google ads on your web site this could be considered commercial use. You would need to contact the web site to be absolutely sure.

Wait, there is more.

Most of us understand that when we sign up for free or paid video web hosting we agree not to upload certain types of materials that violate laws, community standards or are flat out illegal.

There are content restriction. If feels that you are in violation of their terms, independent of the video web hosts terms of service they can yank your right to use the musical content.

Do yourself a favor. Check out the terms of service to fully understand your rights and responsibilities. If you can live with those terms then you will be happy, the musician creating the work gets some money and maybe YouTube can focus on troll whacking a bit more.

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