How to Know If a Song is Copyrighted?

One of the biggest challenges faced by content creators is finding the right music for their videos. Due to strict rules and regulations of the major video sharing platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch and Instagram, using a copyrighted song in a video results gravely: Your video can be taken down, you might lose your monetization privileges or even your entire channel. That is why you must pay great attention to the music you use in your videos.

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Oct 21, 2021

Jul 17, 2023


How to Know If a Song is Copyrighted?

How to Avoid Copyright Strikes on YouTube?

No matter what point you are at in your creator journey, you are probably aware of how much YouTube takes copyright claims very seriously. When we are talking about copyright laws, the first thing you need to know is that YouTube has a copyright-management system called Content ID and Content ID claims are different from copyright strikes. 

How come, you ask? When Content ID detects a copyright violation in a video, the copyright owner has two options. They make a takedown request or they can claim their product and regulate your video – which is what a Content ID claim is. 

In the case that you get a Content ID claim, the copyright owner can restrict your video’s visibility from certain regions or block it completely, track your video’s analytics but leave it be, and monetize your video by running ads. 

Even though there is no limit to how many times you can get a Content ID claim, getting a copyright strike more than three times causes you to lose your channel for good. A copyright claim means risking getting all of your videos deleted from YouTube and being banned from creating a new YouTube channel. 

Keep in mind that using copyrighted songs in your videos will result in a copyright strike as it goes against YouTube Community Guidelines. The good news is that we have a comprehensive guide about how to buy songs right to help you avoid copyright strikes so make sure to check that out! 

To avoid copyright claims on YouTube, your content should be original and you need to make sure to use copyright-free songs in your videos or subscribe to a royalty-free music platform like Snapmuse. 

You can check out our high-quality royalty-free music and sound effects library and browse non-copyrighted songs across all genres, moods, and usage areas. Our dynamic royalty-free music library is updated with new nocopyright beats each month for you to keep creating original and fresh content every single time!

How to Check If a Song is Copyrighted?

Now that you know why you should not use copyrighted music in your YouTube videos, it’s time to learn how to check if a song is copyrighted.

To check if a song is copyrighted on YouTube, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Open YouTube and tap on your profile icon in the top right-hand corner.
  2. Go to YouTube Studio and hit Music Policies under the Create option. 
  3. Here, you can search for any song you like and see if your video is going to be muted, blocked in certain regions, and available for monetization. 

You can also use YouTube’s Audio Library for copyright-free music and sound effects, or check the list of Public Domain Songs.

Or, if you don’t want to be bothered with checking if a song is copyright-free every single time, you can browse our extensive royalty-free music library and discover high-quality copyright free music downloads for YouTube to set the right mood for your videos.

YouTube’s Audio Library

Before you post a video on YouTube, you can check YouTube’s Audio Library to see if the song you want to use is copyrighted.

  1. Go to YouTube.
  2. Switch to the Creator Studio dashboard.
  3. Click on Audio Library.
  4. Find and click the Create option in the menu.
  5. Click the “Ad-Supported Music” button. There you will see Audio Library’s search box.
  6. Type the name of the song you want to check. Click on the “Check its copyright policies” button to see the details.

The List of Public Domain Songs

You can check if a song is in the public domain on the PD Info webpage. All you need to do is type in the name of the song. If it is on the list, it is in the public domain –which means you can safely use that song in your videos and other projects. If it is not on the public domain list, it is copyrighted and you will risk copyright claims if you add it to your video.

How to Know If a Song is Copyrighted?

Non Copyrighted Music

You can use non-copyrighted music in your YouTube videos without any hesitation! But do you know what non-copyrighted music is?

What is Non Copyrighted Music?

Non-copyrighted music refers to the songs that you can use freely in your commercial or personal projects without paying for each use. 

Here at Snapmuse, you can browse our extensive copyright-free music library across over 50 usage areas and find the right song that will resonate with your content the best! 

From background music for gaming and workout videos to travel and vlog music no copyright free downloads, you can discover the type of music you want from all genres and moods.

Royalty Free vs Copyright Free

Contrary to popular belief, royalty-free and copyright-free are not the same!

Copyright-free music does not require payment: You can use copyright-free music without paying for it or making attributions. Unfortunately, completely copyright-free music is very, very rare.

Royalty-free, on the other hand, means that you don’t have to pay for royalties. You purchase royalty free songs just once and you don’t have to pay for each use.

How to Find Non-Copyrighted Songs?

Finding high-quality, copyright-free songs has never been easier!
Whether you are looking for copyright free instrumental music or relaxing background music for your content, our extensive non copyrighted music archive at Snapmuse has thousands of royalty-free songs across all genres, moods, usage areas, and top artists.

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