How to know which music is protected by copyright?

The answer to this question is simple: almost all music is protected by copyright.

However, there are three cases in which you can use songs on the Internet without worrying about copyright

  • If music is in the Public Domain.
  • If music is under Creative Commons licenses.
  • If music is free of rights.

In the Public Domain

If it’s an old song and she’s over 70, it may well be in the public domain and you can use it without a problem. However, you will need to make sure that is the case. You can find out more here.

In PDInfo, you can also find a large list of songs of this type.

Under creative Commons licenses.

If you downloaded the song from a website offering free-of-right music, it is most likely to be under one of the Creative Commons licenses.

What you will need to do in this case is to go to the download site and read its licensing section carefully, to make sure this is the case, and to find out what type of restrictions you have when using it.

Free Music of Rights

This is undoubtedly the best option when you use music in your videos or projects. These are songs that are not famous, but they have nothing to envy to them because their quality and variety are the same. A good place to download them is Epidemic Sound, as we will see later.

In all other cases, especially if the music is famous or well known, this song is surely protected by copyright and you cannot use it.


Until recently, a good way to see if a song was free of rights was to access the YouTube Music Policy section.

However, the platform has interrupted this service, at least for the moment.

What they recommend from YouTube itself to make sure you don’t have any problems is to download your video first and, instead of publishing it directly, configure it as private or hidden to detect possible infringements before publishing it.

In this way, we can ensure that, if a copyright notice appears once we have put the video in hidden or private mode, it will be better to modify it again and change this music for another. .

The best thing in all cases is not to risk using songs that you are not sure about. Otherwise, you may not only see your video blocked or monetized by someone else – the author or the record company – but even have legal problems afterward.


To be quiet when you use background music in your videos and commercials, you will use music free of rights.

With this type of music and sound effects, you make sure you always comply with copyright guidelines.

A good free alternative for your YouTube videos is to use your own audio library. Click on this link and visit it. In this one, you can download a good amount of music free of rights, from a multitude of different genres.

The only thing you had to take into account before was the so-called attribution, which means that, if this particular song or sound effect is used, you were obliged to explain in the description of the video which is the author of this music which you used.

However, YouTube has changed its policies and now it is no longer necessary!

But what if you want to publish your video outside YouTube?

The platform does not allow you to use this music if you want to download your video elsewhere, so we have other options for this:

Unrighteous music for commercial projects

As a payment alternative and of superior quality, if you want to use music for commercial videos, video games, radio, television or cinema or simply do not want to attribute to the author, it is better to buy the corresponding user licenses.

For this, the two best options are as follows:

Epidemic Sound is a platform dedicated to the sale of free music and has a library of over 300,000 songs.

They decided to launch a subscription to the market thought out in great detail for any vlogger or Youtuber which offers the following :

  • Access to hundreds of thousands of tracks
  • New songs added every week
  • Unlimited downloads
  • Unlimited use on your own channels
  • No copyright or royalty claims
  • Fully edit your videos
  • Cancel at any time

What is its price?

Its price will depend on your objectives and the number of visitors and reproductions of your Youtube channel :

In addition, if you want to test the platform and its services without any commitment, we now offer you a completely free 30-day trial period.

The second portal is Envato Elements. Here you will find thousands of songs and sound effects classified by genre and at a very affordable price: € 14.50 per month for all the music you need.


In conclusion, Youtube makes it very easy to check whether a particular song is protected by a copyright thanks to its musical platform. On the other hand, it also makes it easier for us to get free music.

However, if you want to access quality music and never have a problem using background music, it is best to buy a monthly subscription to one of the two services mentioned above.

Pablo Olóndriz founded Legis Music in 2016 and has since worked in the field of free music, constituting an excellent source of information for all those who need quality background music for their videos and their projects in line.

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