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How to Identify Copyrighted Song Online?


Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by Sachin Jaiswal

Finding copyrighted songs online is important in today’s digital world as it promises obedience to copyright regulations and keeps one out of any legal hot water. Unauthorised use of copyrighted music can result in penalties and social harm, among other legal effects. This is so because copyright legislation protects artists’ intellectual property rights and makes illegal usage liable for legal action.

For this reason, it is imperative to check a song’s copyright status before using it to avoid legal trouble and maintain a good online presence. Creators and users may be confident they are using music legally and avoid legal trouble by learning how important it is to identify copyrighted songs online and the legal effects of unapproved use.

What is a Song Copyright Checker?

A tool or service called a music copyright checker helps determine if a song or piece of music is protected by copyright. Copyright laws must be followed to protect DJs, content producers, and anybody else playing music for business or public use from possible legal repercussions.

Practical Aspects

  • Database Search: Most checkers actively search large databases of recorded songs for matches to the provided material.
  • Waveform Analysis: Advanced programs that frequently use waveform, rhythm, and melody analysis to find matches provide a more complex analysis of musical components.
  • Information Provision: After a song is recognised, the Music Copyright Checker can provide important information, including the copyright holder, the type of copyright, and directions on getting a licence if needed.

These tools allow content creators to negotiate the complicated world of music copyrights and ensure a balance between creativity and legal compliance.

How to Check if a Song is Copyrighted on YouTube?

1. Audio Library of YouTube:

  • Sound effects and tracks without copyright restrictions are available in large amounts in YouTube’s Audio Library for use in your videos.
  • To ensure you’re utilising these songs legally, become familiar with the licensing conditions.

2. YouTube Studio:

  • Click on Monetization: You can see whether your video has any copyright claims by going to the Monetization tab in YouTube Studio.
  • Copyright claims: You’ll find a list of any copyright claims here.
  • Go to details for Specific Information: Click on any claim to view the particulars of the content covered by copyright.

3. Making Use of the YouTube’s Content ID:

  • Content ID on YouTube scans your uploaded content automatically for copyrighted material.
  • Copyright claims and notifications: Should any original content be found, you will be notified and get a copyright claim.

4. Search Manually:

  • Searching Video Description for Copyright Notice: Copyright warnings can be manually looked for in the video details of the music you wish to use.
  • The need to confirm copyright status: Before including a song in your video, always check its copyright status to stay out of possible legal trouble.

Finding Out Whether a Song Is Copyrighted

See if PDINFO lists it as public domain:

PDINFO: A public domain song-finding service. To find out if the song you wish to utilise is in the public domain and easily used, look by track or year.

Review a YouTube video description:

YouTube Video Description: The majority of YouTube artists include information about the copyright of their tracks and songs in the video description box. Check the description box on a YouTube song you would like to see whether you should use it again.

Initially, upload a video as private or unlisted to check:

YouTube Algorithm: The YouTube algorithm will tell you whether any of your content infringes copyright terms as soon as you post it and put it on the private or unlisted list.

Look for a copyright sign in the file details or name:

Copyright Mark: Whenever you download a song or view its file metadata, look for the copyright sign (©). Though it’s not usual to see a song title followed by a copyright symbol, it might be a useful hint.

Pay the copyright specialists (Optional):

Copyright Experts: If you are unsure and have the funds, hire an expert. You may receive copyright help from individuals or entire businesses.

Examining Licensing Terms

The Art of Reading and Comprehending Licencing Agreements

  • Clear Language: Make sure the deal is stated simply and without unclear terms or technical language.
  • Defining Essential Terms: To avoid misconceptions, name and explain important terminology such as “licensor,” “licensee,” “intellectual property,” and “royals.”
  • Examine and Comprehend: Carefully examine every condition, including the terms of payment, the reasons for termination, and the rights to intellectual property.

Explanation of Common Licencing Terms

  • The licencing fee is the amount paid by the user to the owner for the right to use the licenced property.
  • Royalties are continuous sums of money that the user pays the owner to keep using the licenced property.
  • The end of the licence deal might happen by breach, non-payment, or expiration.
  • Intellectual property rights allow the licensee to use copyrights, trademarks, and patents owned by the owner.

Importance of Adhering to Terms for Legal Purposes

  • Legal Compliance: Following the conditions ensures adherence and keeps one out of possible legal hot water for copyright or trademark infringements.
  • Protection of Intellectual Property: The agreement stops illegal usage and protects the intellectual property rights of the owner.
  • Clear Expectations: Reducing the chance of disagreements and misunderstandings, following the rules sets clear standards for both sides.

Types of Copyrighted Songs

1. Songs in the Public Domain

  • Public domain music is information which is not copyright protected. This can happen whether the work was never copyrighted or whether the copyright has ended.
  • Copyright Expiration: Usually, 50–70 years following the author’s passing, copyrights expire.
  • Public domain songs include early 20th-century classics, music from before 1923 and songs whose copyright owner failed to renew their rights.

2. Songs under Creative Commons License

  • Creative Commons licences protect the copyright owner’s rights while allowing particular uses of copyrighted material. The six different Creative Commons licence types have various limits.
  • Creative Commons licenced songs allow particular uses, including business, remixing, and sharing.

3. Royalty-Free Songs

  • Music free of fees is music that may be used without paying royalties. Usually licensed for a one-time payment, this music is freely used.
  • Royalty-free songs include high-quality tracks available for a number of uses on sites like Artlist.

4. Legal Resources for Music

Here are several legal music usage resources, including a comparison of free vs. paid options and tips on reaching musicians for direct licencing:

5. Legal Music Sources

  • YouTube Audio Library offers a range of sound effects and songs that are free to use in videos.
  • High-quality, royalty-free music licenced for a number of uses, including commercial enterprises, is available from Artist.
  • Creators may access a large collection of royalty-free music and sound effects at Epidemic Sound.
  • Pond5: Let users lease sound effects and music tracks from different artists.

6. Paid Sources vs. Free

  • Free Sources: Free tools, like the YouTube Audio Library, offer limited choices and may limit business uses.
  • Paid Sources: Paid sites charge a one-time or membership fee but provide a wider range, better music, and more open licensing conditions.

7. Approaching Artists for Direct Licencing

  • Learn about the artist and their music: Verify their style with your project before approaching them.
  • Ask the artist directly or by their manager or company about licensing terms.
  • Be Prepared to negotiate: Artists may have certain standards or prices for music licensing.
  • Get every deal put in writing: Verify the officially necessary and well-stated licencing conditions.

Content Creator Best Practices

Strategies to Guarantee Legal Use of Music Subject to Copyright

  • Understand Copyright Law: Learn the fundamentals of copyright law and the protection that applies to you as an artist.
  • To get around copyright problems, use public domain or royalty-free songs.
  • Get the necessary approvals and licences for copyrighted music to ensure approved usage.
  • Create Original Music: To keep ownership and stay out of copyright problems, think about making original songs.

Legally Including Music in Content

  • Use Music from approved sites: Make use of royalty-free songs found on approved sites like Artlist.
  • Specific Use Clearance: Obtain permission for particular uses, such as public or business performances.
  • Give Credits and Acknowledgments: Acknowledge and properly credit the song’s original writers.

Resources for Continuing Learning and Staying Updated

  • United States Copyright Office: For thorough information on copyright rules and protections, go to the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Forbes Agency Council: For knowledgeable help about copyright issues and content creation, consult the Forbes Agency Council.
  • HubSpot Blog: Explore copyright issues and other content creation and marketing tips on the HubSpot Blog.


Online copyright identification is important for both users and creators to guarantee obedience to copyright laws and stay out of legal hot water. Copyrighted music must be used legally by creators who value intellectual property rights, comply with agreements, and know licencing conditions. Creators can ensure the lawful and compliant usage of copyrighted music, preserve a good online presence, and avoid any legal problems by sticking to best practices and keeping informed.

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Sachin Jaiswal

Sachin Jaiswal B.A.(Hons)! Sachin Jaiswal has been writing material on his own for more than five years. He got his B.A.(Hons) in English from the well-known University of Delhi. His success in this job is due to the fact that he loves writing and making material that is interesting. He has worked with a lot of different clients in many different fields, always giving them high-quality content that their target audience will enjoy. Through his education and work experience, he is able to produce high-quality content that meets his clients' needs.