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cheyenne_h on 02/05/2018 at 08:51AM

Not All Music on FMA is Licensed for Video

Some of our music is just for listening. Sorry video-making friends! (image via flickr commons)

Just a friendly reminder.

We know, the FMA is a great resource for all sorts of people - filmmakers, remix artists, people who wanna hear strange new sounds - but we've been getting a LOT of messages lately from confused people about whether or not they can use X song in Y video.

It depends on the license, and how you intend to use the music, my friend! And best of all, you can find out all the information you need on your own. There are tons of resources out there to help.

We have a robust FAQ (complete with webinar!) about which licenses are suitable for video here. But here are some basics:

1. ND or No Derivatives: If you want to use a track from FMA for a video, you are not allowed to use anything with an "ND" or "No Derivatives" clause in the license. You must get further permission from the artist in order to use it for a video.

2. NC or Non Commercial: If you want to use a track for commercial purposes (including a monetized YouTube video, a real estate listing, or a video telling people about a product or service that costs money), anything with a "NC" or "Non Commercial" clause is not pre-cleared for this type of use. If you want to use it for a commercial purpose, you must get further written permission from the artist, and possibly pay for a license to use the song.

3. SA or Share Alike: If you want to use a track that is licensed CC BY-SA "Share Alike" or CC BY-NC-SA, you are required by that license to share your own work under the identical license. If you can't, or don't want to, do this, you must get further written permission from the artist. (Noticing a pattern yet?)

4. BY or Attribution: Anything with a CC license with "BY" or "Attribution" in it means you must give credit to the artist, but that's it. You can use it for whatever you want, even derivative works like videos and remixes. If you don't want to, or can't give attribution in your derivative work (such as a video)... guess what? You have to get further permission from the artist! (Now you're getting it!)

We have pre-screened a lot of stuff and it's tucked neatly in the Music For Video curator page (though this includes NC and SA tracks - so make sure to look for the license you need). You can also use stuff from our Public Domain collection without attributing or getting permission from the artist.

If you need guidance, please consult our FAQs, License Guide or read up on the Creative Commons website before asking - you may find the answer right in front of you!



MarilynRoxie on 06/29/16 at 05:27PM
Thank you for this great post. I'm going to be a teacher's assistant in a digital video class in the fall and a workshop I'll be doing is all about how to use Creative Commons material in one's own creative work, so this will be a really helpful reference!
Kai Engel on 06/29/16 at 06:41PM
We(artists) need to send 10-15 reply-letters(someone more, someone less) with faqlink or with comments about CC everyday. We need to find new way to inform videomakers about license types.
cheyenne_h on 06/29/16 at 08:47PM
@MarilynRoxie - this is definitely just shorthand and quite incomplete - but our FAQs and the CC FAQs are super thorough and helpful. Feel free to reach out if you ever have questions beyond the scope of our resources though!
AdHocFilms on 06/30/16 at 08:19AM
I've found some artists with use the NC tag, then allow further licensing from their own site. It gets confusing at times sorting!
transient on 06/30/16 at 11:04PM
I don't think people fully seem to understand the NC part of the CC license. I've noticed quite a few videos pop up with my music which seems to be largely being grabbed from FMA. The videos are promoting products that are commercial in nature. None of these seem to be large scale operations and i'm certainly not going to pursue the matter but it's definitely kinda sad to see. the little bit of money i can make off music directly comes from services like Jamendo that handle licensing my music for commercial purposes (like products, software, etc.) I suppose the question you have to ask is, if you are making a commercial product and expect to make money from it, why would a musician want to work for free and not be provided with some of that income in helping promote that product through their audio contribution. Just putting that out there!
Ars Sonor on 07/01/16 at 10:45AM
it looks like i have to re-license nearly everything i uploaded :( and there is no way of changing the licensing in already uploaded tracks... so i have to reupload it.
BY seems to be ideal solution anyways so far, for many reasons.
icastico on 07/01/16 at 01:30PM
Thanks for this post. I have always felt that my music was soundtracks in search of images and FMA has led to quite a few interesting uses. And it has led to some actual income from folks that get the "NC" thing. Hopefully more posts like this will help creators recognize when they need to communicate with musicians and when they can just concentrate on creation.
Hold Fast on 07/04/16 at 08:41PM
What I have been lately on YouTube is copyright content match from record companies that own the material that author on FMA stated they own and licensed it for free use. Some are false and some are sort of valid where parts of a songs were used.

Is there a way to report songs like that? None of my YouTube content is monetized and I have absolutely zero interest in making money from any of it and as such I don't want record labels to place ads on my content for things that I thought were fair use.
Eschelar on 02/06/17 at 05:46AM
Well this is good, but oddly, I'm *specifically* looking for details on the license and as I'm going through music here, I can't see licensing details anywhere... I've got a way to download the track, which has an .mp3 file, but no license file! There's a way to filter by license type, but I'm going through "music for Video" and it turns out it's not actually a genre, so I can't use the built-in filter *and* look for music that is suitable for video... And I still don't see any license details on individual tracks.

Youtube Audio Library does a really good job of filtering and presenting their music in a way that is very clear about license details. I don't think I can even use any of the stuff I've found on FMA, which turns the entire site into a waste of time for me.

Website devs need to get their act together to keep the focus on making the process easy for new visitors. I just downloaded 15 tracks and realized that I probably can't use any of them and I can't even find details on those tracks, so I'll just delete them and find more music elsewhere.
mike9898 on 02/09/17 at 11:14AM
What is the case If more than one people will use this music on their videos?
kaoru27umi on 03/03/17 at 04:45PM
My music is licensed under CC by ND and I find my music used in 10 to 20 videos on youtube every week. Some even edit my music.

"Oh I'm so sorry I didn't know!" Is almost always the response.

I honestly think more needs to be done to clarify these different licenses when people download an artist's music from this site.

We need a more productive way to help people understand the difference about the licenses because "reminders" don't do anything.

Just my 2 cents.
Noise Problems on 03/17/17 at 11:15AM
@cheyenne Thanks for this post. Clarifies a lot of stuff.
blue439over on 04/28/17 at 08:35PM
I'm a nube here and want to be perfectly sure i'm using a piece of music in my youtube vid legally. I read the FAQ's / and the tune i want to use in my vlog is coded: cc by sa. I looked up what that means and it appears I CAN use it in my vid and post to you tube on the condition I recognize the artist in the form of attribution? I got a bit confused on the SA/ share alike thing... thought I read two different descriptors of this. I do not plan on altering or remixing. do I need to do anything other than attribution? thanks in advance.
jahidseolog on 07/16/17 at 07:40AM
its very nice to me and soft sound. like it really
infopablo00 on 11/16/17 at 10:00PM
I offer music/soundscapes under public domain that can be used for all kinds of projects.
Vincentdu on 01/25/18 at 02:59PM
So, we can use all these song for vdeos? Awesome!
WarSong on 02/07/18 at 04:22AM
that's always been a sticky point for me. i've never been able to figure out how to search by license. considering all i do is video and streaming it would make finding track much faster so i can prelisten and choose what's best for my theme.
cheyenne_h on 02/07/18 at 06:00PM
@WarSong if you go to our search page and scroll down a little, you'll see an array of checkboxes to filter search results for a variety of licenses. Hope that helps!
dmersonhess on 02/08/18 at 05:54AM
Thank you for posting this. I've found many uses of my music, or music by artists I put out on my netlabel, on ads-enabled YouTube videos, in feature films and elsewhere, and even had a credit pop up on IMDb for a film I had never heard of, but supposedly scored. I've also gotten really bad all-caps backlash emails from people who I've contacted, explaining that they needed a license to use a certain track in a commercial context. It's upsetting when this happens, particularly when your financial well-being depends on music licensing (as it really does for a few artists whose music I've put out). I really appreciate you posting this. The FMA is important, the CC community is important, and newbies need to learn that not all licenses are the same.
Ounca on 03/29/18 at 12:11AM
So im a student at a school making a "movie" just for my class and will not go online. am i safe to use this music?
Jasonaroo on 06/01/18 at 01:30AM
we need an update on here! :-D Is it possible we can suggest an artist for you to contact about getting some songs listed here for video use?
adrianamoll on 09/17/18 at 08:07AM
beautiful to read
ComputerHotline on 11/04/18 at 10:37AM
I regularly use musics from your site in my videos.
It's awesome !!!
Thanks a lot.
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