There have been so many misconceptions and inaccuracies about copyright-free or royalty-free music, and they need to be corrected. This article will help you know what these two terms actually mean. First of all, you need to understand what music royalties mean.
Definition of Royalties
Payments for royalty music are made to the person or people who legally own the copyrighted documents. Generally, royalties are created as a method of compensating the copyright holders of music or the music composers for making use of their music. If the payment of royalties is forfeited, then it has gone against the law and legal action would be taken.
You now get the definition of royalties, so we should go deeper by describing what copyright-free or royalty-free means. A lot of people have the mentality that royalty-free means that the copyright owner of the music should not be paid. That is not what it means. The term is referring to the licensing of a musical work that enables the buyer of a song to make a once-off payment that will allow the \buyer to use the music over a fixed period. Let us take, for example, you are making a video that you want to upload on the internet and you are looking for a soundtrack for the video, you can just approach a music producer or composer to get royalty-free music that suits the visuals. After making the once-off payment, you are free to use the music legally in the video you are making. This also means that you will not need to make any royalty payments later.
Does royalty-free mean that a piece of music is completely free?
As we have said earlier, when people hear the term royalty-free, they see it to mean a piece of completely free music. If you are also looking at it this way, then you are making a mistake. For example, if you are selling a product that is tax-free, it does not mean that you will not pay anything for it. Most times, if you make a one-time payment, you will buy a license which will make you not pay any further royalty fee.
Are royalty-free kinds of music copyrighted?
The copyright owner of a song/music is the person who created the music and this means that copyright-free music does not exist. If for any reason, the copyright owner of a producer permits you to use his/her music for anything, then it means that you have received the ‘right to copy’. We can say that the music is a little bit free, but is still liable to copyright.
Is Royalty-Free Music of high or low quality?
You can basically license music of any kind in the royalty-free music category. The music licensing option does not affect music’s quality. The musician is the one who ultimately determines how quality his music is and not the licensing. However, you should have it in mind that a lot of producers usually spend time to create high-quality music and still decide to offer it as royalty-free. In essence, royalty-free music is not low-quality or low-standard music.
Best Royalty Free Music Websites:
- Storyblocks Audio
- Epidemic Sound
- AudioJungle – Envato Music
- Purple Planet
- Josh Woodward
The Pricing of Royalty-Free Music
There is no standard rate for royalty-free music. The person who owns the copyrighted work is the one who determines how much he will charge. So, what we are trying to say is that you can get royalty-free music for about 10 dollars to 1,000 dollars, depending on the price of the owner. They usually settle the price based on a willing-buyer-willing-seller.
There is quite a diversity in royalty-free music concepts, and they are usually described in a variety of ways. Below are some interchangeably-used terms:
- Pre licensed Music Library
- Single-Fee Music
- Single-Fee Stock Music
- Pre Paid Production Music
- Pre Licensed Stock Music
- Single-Fee Music Licensing
- Single-Fee Production Music
What makes royalty-free music to be very important?
Many years ago, video producers mostly make use of royalty-free licensing as it allows them to add soundtracks easily without bothering about the ins and outs of other conventional licensing. Organizations that are in charge of collecting Royalties typically have an intricate procedure to charge royalties, making it more affordable and convenient for royalty-free music to be used. In this digital era, we have seen the adaptation of this concept with several music composers promoting their royalty-free music on the internet. Additionally, music composers see it to be proper because of how an enormous online audience instantly access their music. Now, music composers can use so many royalty-free musics from diverse genres to set up ample websites on just a single platform.
As we said earlier, royalty-free music was mostly used for TV productions many years ago, and now, it is being used in this recent digital landscape. Plenty of royalty-free music that were gotten online are also being used on online platforms like Vimeo, YouTube, and also for other productions like podcasts.
Using legal music for sound-based or video productions is encouraged by royalty-free music. What this means is that the whole level of video producers can access a variety of musical work that they can legally acquire instead of illegally making use of copyrighted music. If music is illegally used, the content it is used for will be banned, and it can even lead to the legal prosecution of the user. All of these can be avoided if a piece of royalty-free music is legally acquired.
Royalty-free music composers have every right to set their T & C of acquiring their music. Here are a few issues that the music composer determines beforehand:
- The Licensee: The people that are meant to access and make use of the music
- The license duration: How long a producer can use the music
- The location: The place that the producers can make use of the music
- The cost: The price of a one-time payment, if there is any
- The usage: How the copyright owner wants the music to be used
We believe that this article has explained what the two terms (Royalty-Free and Copyright-Free Music) mean. If you are a video producer and want to make use of a soundtrack, it is better to legally acquire royalty-free music to avoid any problem.