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Using Copyrighted and Library Content

Find out how you can legally and ethically use copyrighted and library content in your academic research, instruction, essays & writings, and creative projects. Legal disclaimer: this copyright guide is meant for informational & educational purposes only.

Types of Licenses You May Need

Introduction

This page will help you in obtaining the necessary license for adding popular music to your video project, usually a synchronization (sync) license. It is the fifth and final step for using music in videos, and it is best to consider the other steps before considering the purchase of a music license.

Obtaining the Necessary License

If you want to use popular copyrighted music in your video or project, then you may need to purchase a license.

The sync license is what is purchased to include others' copyrighted music in videos. However, if you are only using YouTube to share your video, your inclusion of certain copyrighted music may be covered by music copyright holders' policies. See the third and final box on this page for more information.

Other Music Licenses

There are other types of music licenses you may need, depending on the nature of your project.

How to Obtain the Necessary License

Music publishers generally issue sync, print, and public performance licenses.

You can search the repertories of these music collective rights agencies to discover who the publisher is for the song/piece you want to use in your video. You will then need to obtain contact information for the music publisher and request a license.