June 7, 2015 at 5:54AM, Edited June 7, 5:55AM


Can copyrighted music be used in a short film if its just going on youtube and the music is credited in the film?

Sorry if this question has been asked a multitude of times before but I just wanted a clear and definite answer. I am planning to use some of Krzyszstof Penderecki's works in my new short film, just about 30 seconds of one of his compositions, and am wondering, since my short film is non-profit and most likely not going to be submitted for any online challenges, and I credit him and the sound recording artists in the film, would this be ok?


If you use copyrighted music in any film without sync & master rights, the rights holder to both will have claim. Let's say you get 1M views and are entitled to YouTube partner earnings around $2K - you could lose it all.

June 7, 2015 at 7:03PM

Ken Horstmann

Would you be fine with some one taking 30 seconds of your own work without your permission, using it as their own, and just giving you a credit? There are hundreds or artists out there that would love to CREATE a track just for your film. Seek those people out or get the rights to use the tracks.

June 9, 2015 at 11:35AM, Edited June 9, 11:35AM

Matt Clark
Producer / Writer / DP

One of the option is to pay a little and use royalty free music available for example here at http://tiny.cc/Royalty_Free_Music

Best Regards,

January 28, 2016 at 8:36PM, Edited January 28, 8:40PM


YouTube's automated system will almost certainly catch it right away and flag it. The system will tell you a claim has been made by the copyright holder and depending on how that copyright holder has things set up, nothing at all might happen, ads may start being shown over your video, or your video may be taken down altogether.

All three things have happen to me almost every time I upload a video even though I never use unlicensed music, because even stock music is in YouTube's automated system. In my case, I have to dispute the claim, provide licensing information, and wait for YouTube to work out the dispute with the copyright holder.

In one case, YouTube had removed the video and we already had over 100,000 hits - by the time it got worked out we'd lost momentum and couldn't regain it. I've learned the way around this is to upload as a private link, let the system flag it, dispute the claim, resolve it, then release the video.

But having said all that, Matt's point is paramount: find or compose original music. Quality stock music doesn't have to cost a lot. Please try a site like audiojungle.net or pond5.com or spend an afternoon with Garageband.

January 29, 2016 at 9:10PM

Deeder Murray-Holmes

Hi Matt,
If you use Copyrighted Music, they can claim their rights even you quote them...
The best in your case is to use Music under Creative Commons Attribution License.
Check this website - www.be-tunes.com - with only Free + Royalty Free Music...
All is under Copyleft (Creative Commons Attribution) License...
My favourite because there's only one license, the most free to use... :)

February 27, 2017 at 5:37AM, Edited February 27, 5:37AM


if you use a copyrighted song in any film without sync & grasp rights, the rights holder to both can have a claim. let's consider you get 1M perspectives and are entitled to YouTube partner income around $2K - you can lose it all.thankful to you this type of beautiful aggregate for sharing this put up. Source: UK Dissertation.

September 5, 2017 at 6:26AM


Your Comment