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How to Get Permission to Use a Song in a Video

feature get permission to use a songEvery song entails different rhythms and lyrics that can evoke several emotions, which is why people use songs not only for personal use but also for commercial uses. But, have you ever wondered why you seldom hear popular songs as commercial or movie background music? And, why is it that most movies make their soundtracks rather than using songs that already exist? Or, why do some YouTube videos have parts that are muted? It is because of licensing!. It implies special consent from the owners of the copyright for authorization. Most of the time, getting the rights to use an existing song is complicated because it requires tracking down all the publishers associated with the production of a particular song. It may seem like a difficult task at first, but knowing the process of getting permission to use a song and taking them one step at a time would make it possible. This article will walk you through the process on how to get permission to use a song.

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Why Can't We Just Use a Song Without Permission?

It is a form of paying respect to the song's original creators to ask permission first before including it in other works. Aside from that, the law states that any use of copyrighted material without the owners' permission represents copyright infringement.

In some cases, like if it is just for personal use, which means it doesn't have to be shared online, you don't have to get legal rights to use a song. Still, when it comes to commercial purposes like uploading it on social media platforms particularly on YouTube, legal stuff should be considered to avoid inconvenience or, even worse, get sued.

According to Phillips (2020), violating copyright laws is labeled as a criminal offense, especially when commercial profit is being associated, and you might be subjected to paying penalties for copyright infringement which is why you have to be careful in using copyrighted songs for they could get you in trouble if you are not licensed to use it.

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Music Copyright Facts You Need to Understand

Music Copyright is determined by legal ownership of musical composition and sound recording. Musical composition is the arrangement of the song, lyrics, and musical score, while on the other hand, sound recording is the one that you actually hear.

If you only intend to use the song's musical composition, you will only need a "sync" license; however, it will not guarantee you permission for its sound recording so you'll need a master license for the usage of that recording. Meaning to say you must acquire two licenses; a synchronization license and a master license to include them both in your video.

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How to Get Copyright Permission for Music

For sure, questions like, how do I get permission to use a song in a video or how to get permission to use a song on YouTube are running through your mind that is why these steps will walk you through the step-by-step process of getting permission for the copyright of a song:

Step 1 Determine Who Owns the Copyright of the Song

You must know first if the song requires permission to use. As easy as it may sound, finding the song's copyright owner is a close to impossible task because communicating with artists is challenging due to their busy schedules, considering the fact that there are many people out there who also aspire to get their consent to use their piece. However, to begin with, the music publisher or their record company is a great base to start.

ASCAP is one of the music rights organizations that can provide contact information to music publishers. With the use of this site, you can look for the publisher and label information of the music you want to be permitted to use.


Step 2 Send a Request and Negotiate Permission Agreement

As soon as you learned that permission is needed first before you can utilize a specific song and have determined the song's copyright owner, you may now compose a permission request.

Some things that should be clarified in permission request:

  • Some basic information about yourself;
  • Information about the usage of the song;
  • License type;
  • Duration of the song;
  • How long you want to use the music

Step 3 Initiate Written Contract of Agreement

After they have granted your request, negotiation about the Contract Agreement must be discussed between the two parties. Licenses may permit you to use the song, but it may also include limitations such as exclusivity, and other terms of conditions; that is why a written contract is highly suggested rather than a verbal contract for it provides certainty and necessary information to avoid unanticipated misunderstandings.

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Next Move after the Approval of Permission Request

Since your permission request has been granted, you can now download songs you want to use. After all of the legal settlements, you are now permitted to use a song on YouTube or include it in your video. With the use of a music downloader, you can download songs for as much as you want. There may be plenty of music downloader software out there, but you cannot assure if they have features that can assist the quality of the song you want as you download it. Music Keeper is one of numerous software that will allow you to download MP3 songs from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and 1000+ online streaming websites. Note that you are only required to get permission to use a song if it will be used for commercial use. For your personal use, permission is not really an issue but you still need a software tool like Music Keeper to download copyleft music and listen to it. Ways on How to Use Music Keeper:

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Distinctive Feature: This is a software tool that is used to download MP3 Music from 1000+ Online Streaming Websites in speed for it has multi-threading technology that incorporates a fast downloading process.

Try it for Free

Step 1 Download Music Keeper

You can download Music Keeper by clicking the Download button above. As soon as you have downloaded it, its main interface shows you features which you can explore. It includes popular sites like YouTube wherein you can directly play your favorite music.

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Step 2 Copy the URL

Although, you can still search for the song on YouTube that you would like to download. Once you are on the right video that you are searching for. Right-click on it and copy the video URL.

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Step 3 Paste the URL of the Video

Once you have copied the video URL, paste it into the search bar of the software. As soon as you click the search button, you'll be able to see the video you copied the URL from YouTube. It will only take less than a minute for it to be fully downloaded.

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Step 4 Choose an Output Format

You can now choose the right output format for you. You may also decide if you downloaded it as video or as audio. You can choose its MP3 quality between 320k, 192k, and 128k.

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Step 5 Play Downloaded Music

Click the Downloaded panel to listen to your downloaded music for as much as you want. Also, since you are done with getting permission to use a song, you are now authorized to include the music that you have just downloaded in your video and upload it to YouTube or other online streaming sites.

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You can also directly search, discover songs and explore tracks in Music Keeper since it has a free music search engine.


Consequently, the process of acquiring permission to use a song may be challenging but at least it will keep you away from trouble like being sued. It may be a lot of information to process, especially if you do not have any idea how to do it. Hope this article has enlightened you about the reason why you cannot just use a song without permission, the facts that you need to understand in Music Copyright, the process of getting permission to use a song, and be informed that there are some software out there like Music Keeper that can be a medium for you to possibly download the music that you want to include in your video creation.

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Posted by Trafalgar Law to Music Downloader

Last updated on November 3, 2021

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