How to Get Permission to get a Song(s) in a Video?

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Avatar of Dylan Jones
Dylan Jones on May 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm

When I have to get permission for a song in a video, I feel forced to use royalty free music. For typical YouTube videos i do not get into this problem, but for practically any competition, you have to get permission. I believe music is soo powerful in a video, it’s extremely sad when I want to use a song, but I am unable to, due to copyright. Is there any semi simple way to get permission?

Avatar of Kiah Graham
Kiah Graham on May 16, 2012 at 11:22 am

Hey man,
I feel the same way. The right song can really make the difference for a video. I am sorry to say that I really have no idea to get that permission. I would really like to know that too.

Avatar of Zdenek Ruzicka
Zdenek Ruzicka on May 17, 2012 at 4:04 am

Hi Dylan,

while getting a permission can be quite tricky, I thought I’d give you some tips.

Royalty Free music sometimes can be very limiting due to the lack of choice or quality. A good place to look though is Vimeo. Vimeo recently launched “Music Store”

There is over 45,000 tracks and you can browse Royalty Free Music or very cheap music for personal use and if you want to take it to the small business level you’ll have to pay a bit more but the outcome should cover that.

The thing is that Royalty Free Music there is quite Good. I was really surprised. It takes time to browse and then select a piece you find fitting, but I’d definitely give it a shot.

For example, I really wanted to use one track there, so I’ve found the band ( small band ) on Facebook and they were cool enough to give me permission to use their piece without any fee. All I did was I mentioned them in the credits.

Another site lot of my friends uses is called:

It can get a bit more expensive, depending on the artist and size of the project, but I’d definitely check it out :) You can browse it all and listen to the songs for free.

I know I didn’t answer your post, but I thought this could help aswell!


Avatar of Andy Ainsworth
Andy Ainsworth on May 17, 2012 at 5:05 am

@Dylan, I’m in total agreement with @Steve on this one. @O’Ryan and I search through Vimeo Music Store all the time, and we’ve had some great luck with it. In fact, our intro music for the first Filmpunch video (which we’ll be uploading very soon :) ) came from there. So definitely check that out. Also, the categories are organized very specifically, so if you’re looking for something for a robot short that’s got some humor in it, you could select search terms like ambient, electronic, comedy, sting and you might actually find a bunch tracks under those tags.

Avatar of Dylan Jones
Dylan Jones on May 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm

thanks, this help a lot @Steve Ruzicka those links are very helpful, never knew about those places :D thank you sir

Avatar of Kiah Graham
Kiah Graham on May 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Wow! I never knew about the Vimeo Music Store. Jees! Thanks a ton for the suggestion!

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on May 18, 2012 at 2:03 am

For a few more sites check out this thread:

Avatar of Josiah Clark
Josiah Clark on June 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm

On the note of asking permission, the less-known an artist is, the better your chances are. Just find a place to ask permission, be it a Facebook page, Tweet, email, YouTube, whatever, explain what you’re wanting to use it for, and ask. Most small-time artists just want their music out there, and will be thrilled to let you use their track. Just takes some looking is all.

Avatar of Phlume
Phlume on August 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I am not sure how it applies to films, I think you need what is known as a sync license, but here is a bit of useful info on the reproduction of popular works in audio format:

Harry Fox Agency is the end all be all when it comes to (unlike Performance Rights Organizations) royalty payouts for “cover songs”. If you want to perform a song by Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC or virtually anyone else on your CD legally, you can accomplish it very easily with a few clicks and a payment to HFA. You obtain what is known as a Mechanical license and I believe it allows you to re-record, use, edit, distribute and publicly display/perform the protected piece.

Do you need a ML?

AS FOR FILMS… It is a similar process, just not through HFA.
From what I remember it is about $200 bucks and a few completed form submitted to the appropriate holding companies to gain official licensing for ANY music in a film.

This site talks a bit about the process…

Not too shabby and absolutely affordable.

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