Royalty Free Film Music

Film and media students often like to create their own films or edit other people’s films. When making their own films, they would often use a piece of popular music or a film soundtrack and add it to their films.

Royalty Free Film Music

In the olden days before everyone has access to the internet and online video sites such as YouTube and it wouldn’t matter that media and film students would infringe copyright as it was very unlikely that anyone apart from the student and their lecturer would view the video.

Edit: Just to note that it mattered then as it matters now that students infringed copyright. When I said wouldn’t matter what I was thinking was that staff and students then wouldn’t worry about infringing copyright as they perceived the risk of being caught very low and as a result wouldn’t worry about infringing copyright. But it was as wrong then as it is now, just now the risk of being caught is higher.

However these days students are not only making films, they also want to show them off. They are uploading them to YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and loads of other places on the internet.

As a result it is much easier for rights owners to find that the students have infringed their copyright. Regardless of your views on this, it can make life easier for the student, the lecturer and the college to have a source of music for these student films that does not infringe someone’s copyright.

They can of course seek permission from the copyright owner and this may be given or asked to pay a royalty.

The following is not copyright free, but you don’t need to pay royalties, just need to credit.

Lots of wonderful film type music.

From the FAQ

Can I use this music in a Student Film? Commercial Film? Stage Production? Flash Animation? Instructional DVD? Relaxation CD? Slideshow?

Yes. Anything and everything – as long as I get a credit.

Used it myself in a little film I made about the ALT Conference Dinner.

Great source of music for film projects.

5 thoughts on “Royalty Free Film Music”

  1. I think you may wish to re-word the following:

    “In the olden days…it wouldn’t matter that…students would infringe copyright…”

    It has always _mattered_, but (and IANAL – especially on copyright!) but it is my understanding that in the UK, within an assessed piece of work when only used for the purpose of the assessment, then students are ALLOWED to use copyright matterials. In the same way that copyright matterial can be used within an exam but must be removed if that exam is then made available later in a “past exam paper” system.

    There are LOTS of resources out there for public domain/ royalty free/ open licensed media – but a reminder to students is always a good thing. I wonder if educators who expect their learners to create rich media (formative or assessed) build in awareness of the foibles of copyright law? I assume every course will include an awareness of plagarism, but is that extended to cover (c) too?

  2. I’m happy to accept your interpretation – I’m certainly not a lawer, and each time I’ve attended copyright awareness training I’ve ended up _knowing_ less about copyright than I thought I knew before I started! I always defer to our resident copyright expert in UoP when it comes up, even when I think I’ve fairly sure as it seems the law is constantly reinterpretted due to case law too.

    That said, following your link and reading the actual act, I see (Chapt III, section 32, para 2):

    “(2) Copyright in a sound recording, film or broadcast is not infringed by its being copied by making a film or film sound-track in the course of
    instruction, or of preparation for instruction, in the making of films or film sound-tracks, provided the copying –
    (a) is done by a person giving or receiving instruction, and
    (b) is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement, and provided that the instruction is for a non-commercial purpose.”

    Which would see to indicate to me that using (c) matterials could be used by a student if they are receiving instruction (but would qualitative/quantative assesment count as ‘recieving instruction’?…) as long as they do the copying, and include acknowledgement.

    I also see:

    “(3) Copyright is not infringed by anything done for the purposes of an examination by way of setting the questions, communicating the questions to the candidates or answering the questions, provided that the questions are accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.”

    Which would seem to indicate that answering an exam question is equally covered – and depending on the definition of “an examinination” (eg is quantitative assesment a form of examination?) then a student answering a ‘question’ (read assessment) might be covered too…

    But I’d always err on the side of caution and advise students similarly as you suggest 🙂

  3. Copyright is a real complex animal and I am never 100% sure on anything. It’s often easy to find out what you can’t do and more difficult to confirm what you can do.


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