Why & How to Use Music in Ads (Without Getting Sued!)

Using music in your advertisement is a smart marketing move. Everyone will be thinking about your brand when they hear a song that makes them sing along unconsciously. Sometimes using a well-known and catchy tune is the best approach to achieve it.

But is it legal to use production music in your ads? There are restrictions on how you can use another person’s song in your advertisement without violating copyright and here we will tell you the whole story.

Can I legally use copyrighted music in commercial marketing videos?

You will eventually require legal background music whether you produce material for your own clientele or marketing films for your own small business.

As a general rule, even while working on totally non-commercial projects, you must seek permission from the copyright owner to utilise any copyrighted material.

Pay Attention to the Terms

Even if you are granted permission to use a music, it is crucial to study the conditions of the contract to make sure you know exactly what rights you are granted. You should concentrate in particular on:

1 How much of the music is permissible to utilise

The duration and section of the music that you can utilise are sometimes specified in the licence. In this case, using more of the music or a different section would go beyond the parameters of the licence and potentially violate copyright.

2. The license’s objective.

Usually, a licence will state what it is for. As a result, just though you have a licence for one advertisement, it doesn’t mean you can use it for any other advertisement or video.

3. The license’s duration.

The licence should ideally be everlasting, lasting indefinitely. But there may be good reasons for the owner to limit the licence to a certain period of time.

4. Exclusivity

With an exclusive licence, the song cannot be used by anybody else. In order to maximise their revenues, copyright owners can enter into many licences, making it unlikely that they will obtain an exclusive licence. You might be able to work out an exclusive licence for your sector, though. You might be able to secure an exclusive licence for advertising garments, for instance, if your advertisement is promoting your new clothing line.

Should I care about music licensing ?

Never use any unlicensed content, especially music, when working on a media production for your company or a client.

The typical dangers include:

1. Third-party advertisements “complement” or are muted from your video.

2. The copyright owner taking legal action against you or your company.

3. When clients discover you used unlicensed content in their videos, they give you bad feedback, ruining your reputation as a freelance video editor.

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