General Music Guidelines

General Music Guidelines

Before using third-party music in your video productions, there are a few basic bits of information you should know that may help you to avoid issues that could put your content or even your channel at risk. Make sure you read through the following information.


What is a synchronization license and do I need one?

A synchronization license gives you the right to “synchronize" a song (sound recording “master” and/or composition “song”) with audio visual recordings, such as Videos, Films, Video Games, Television, etc. So, if you’d like to use our music in your audio visual production, you will need a synchronization license. If the music was provided by any of Freedoms sources such as Epidemic sound, Audio Micro, or Uzer music for example a synchronization license comes standard.


What’s the difference between purchasing music and licensing a song?

When you purchase music on iTunes, Amazon, CD’s, etc., you are buying the music for personal listening purposes only. Whether you listen on your iPod, computer or stereo – you bought it, you can listen to it however you want! However, if you want to use a song in an audio visual production you will need to license it.


Can I use my licensed song in more than one production?

Normally no, but if you were provided the track through any service that Freedom provides during and through your partnership then yes, you may use it in any projects as long as you are part of Freedom! If you’re getting your music from outside a Freedom provided service please check the licensing of the source you’ve chosen to work with.


Can I use multiple songs in one project?

If you’ve gotten your music from a Freedom provided service such as Epidemic Sound, Audio Micro, or Uzer Music then YES!! *Note mixing between sources can confuse things* If you’re getting your music from outside a Freedom provided service please check the licensing of the source you’ve chosen to work with.


When I uploaded my video to YouTube I recieved a “3rd party matched content” notice. What does that mean?

YouTube uses a system called Content ID to fingerprint music and allow the owners of the music to track and/or monetize the use of their music on YouTube. When YouTube recognizes a song that is being used in a video it alerts the uploader that the video contains music owned by a “Third Party”. It does not mean you are receiving a copyright infringement notice or that a strike is being placed on your channel. It also won’t cause your video to be taken down. It does, however, restrict you from monetizing the video yourself on YouTube.


Do I have to license music individually for my youtube videos?

That depends on where you get your music from. If you’re getting it from a service that Freedom makes available to you the answer is probably no since there are blanket deals with companies like Audio Micro, Epidemic Sound, and Uzer Music. If you’re getting your music from outside a Freedom provided service please check the licensing of the source you’ve chosen to work with.


If I use music from no(n)-copyright/copyright free sources, will I have any problems?

We do not recommend that you use music that is not properly licensed, such as the one we provide to the Freedom! partners, or for which you didn't got written permission from the author/copyright holder of the song first. If you are not doing this, it's likely that eventually you may get in trouble due to copyright infringement.


If I give credit to the artist in the video description can I use any music I want?

No. If you are not using music provided by Freedom! you need to either buy a license the music you want to use, or get written permission from the author/copyright holder of the song first. In any situation, you should always credit the author of the music.


What would you recommend to avoid issues making music covers?

If you do covers of songs or music in general, you should know that there is no way to make sure that you will not run into problems. But here are a few guidelines you can use:

  • Request permission from the content owner before doing the cover.
  • Use your own instrumental of the song yourself (play the piano, guitar, etc) instead of using the original sound recording.
  • Play the song yourself without any audio, or create your own audio beats for rhythm


What is Stock Music?

Stock Music, also commonly known as Production Music, is a less expensive alternative to the use of popular or well known music in a production, since it is not necessary to obtain specific permission or pay additional clearance fees for the use of a song that has instant recognition.


What are the advantages and features of Stock Music?

Stock Music is written and recorded specifically for use in audio and audio visual productions. It is affordable, readily available and covers a broad spectrum of musical styles and genres.


What is Royalty Free Music and how is it licensed?

Royalty free music – also called Buyout Music – is a specific kind of Stock Music that allows the user to pay one upfront fee to purchase unlimited lifetime synchronization rights to the music, but which does not include exclusive use of the music or the ownership/copyright of the music. There are sources of royalty free music freely available online however it’s worth noting that many creators have copyright issues through some of those sources due to conflicting rights.


What are Musical Elements?

Musical Elements are short musical melodies, chord sequences or solo instrument clips that are often used to introduce or close a presentation, provide transition sequences or provide a backdrop for a voiceover.


What are Production Elements and Sound Effects?

A Production Element is an audio clip that is used to sweeten or enhance a recorded production, usually for radio broadcast intros, promos, transitions and attention getters. A Sound Effect is a single isolated recording of an identifiable object (like an airplane or a person coughing) that can range in length from a heartbeat to several minutes.


What are Synchronization and Synchronization Rights?

Synchronization is the term that describes the way in which Sounds are used in productions. A sound can be synchronized within a visual presentation (the sound of a dramatic film score timed to be heard as movie credits roll), or with other audio material such as a voiceover - as in the case of a radio commercial. Sounds can be synchronized for use in many media: television, radio, film, multimedia and audio-visual presentations, Web sites, computer games and music.


What does the term Public Domain mean?

From the time a piece of music is created, it is protected by copyright. Once a piece of music has existed beyond the copyright protection period, that piece of music is considered to be in the Public Domain. The international laws governing copyright are the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention. Under the Berne Convention, copyright extends for the life of the composer plus a minimum of 50 years following his or her death. Most of the world's industrial countries have signed the Berne Convention and comply with it - although all countries have their own copyright laws which may extend the copyright period for an additional number of years. In fact, many countries have extended this copyright term to a period of 75 years following the death of the composer. If you are intending to use a piece of music that is in the Public Domain, make sure that you check the Copyright Laws in all countries where the production will be used to make sure that your use conforms to the laws of those countries.



If you have any other questions or concerns, please make sure to reach out to our support team by clicking in the "Submit a request" link at the top of this page.

Related articles:

Uzer Music - Everything you need to know

AudioMicro - Everything you need to know

Epidemic Sound - Everything you need to know


Note: Freedom! doesn't offer access to AudioMicro and Uzer Music currently.

Updated: 2021-05-14

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