Copyright. A pain in the ass for anyone that published stuff online. An evil set of laws which keep layers in business, encourage greed and prevent further innovation. It’s designed to remove risk and fear from the mind of the creator but by removing risk and fear you remove a huge chunk of what keeps us motivated to create in the first place. Of course that’s the cynical way of looking at copyright and like it or not, it’s here to stay. Music is no exception…
Wouldn’t it be nice?
Imagine a world where you could grab an image from Google images and do whatever you wanted with it. Imagine if Google where to ban indexing images that had licences on them? Or if you could use your favorite songs on your ipod as backing tracks to videos which you upload to youtube. Popular songs by popular artists… songs everyone knows the lyrics to and instantly set a mood within the first few seconds.
I’d imagine we will see the day where we’ll be allowed use all material provided we credit the original author. I think that just makes sense myself… exposure is better than no exposure if you’re any kind of an artist and by ditching the “back off, it’s mine, all mine” mentality, artists will begin to realise it doesn’t make sense to prevent others from using their work. The web will become the new stage for all artists and the quickest and best way to get noticed is to give your stuff away for free or invite people to use it.
Get to the free music already!
One free resource where you can use music in your videos is called ‘Jamendo‘. You can’t quite take any track you like and use it, but you can download most of them and use them in videos provide you credit the artists. All thanks to creative commons licences.
I’m not a legal expert and hopefully if i’m wrong, somebody will correct me but as far as i understand, you can use any tracks from Jamendo provided they don’t come with a ‘no derivatives’ licence. And of course if you intend to make money with your videos, then you can’t use music which comes with ‘non commercial’ licence restrictions. Jamendo is my favourite creative commons music site and one of the largest with almost 300,000 tracks on offer.
Another quality resource is audiofarm.org. ‘Quality’ is a rare trait when it comes to royalty free / creative commons music sites. Most of them are ugly, difficult to navigate or simply don’t have enough content to warrant being mentioned in this post.
For something a bit different, check out http://soundcloud.com/creativecommons
And finally, another resource i thought worthy of a mention was http://dig.ccmixter.org/
Be careful with the licences and if in doubt, contact the artist directly, but between all of these sites you’ll have more than enough music to compliment any kind of video you’re making. And it’s all free. No risk of getting slapped by the youtube police or over protective record labels. You’re also help to give small artists exposure so it’s a win win situation.