If you've been reading my blog regularly you know I'm a big proponent of copyright (see here for past musings). If you head over to YouTube or Vimeo you'll see the abundance of copyright violations as it pertains to music. There is a part of me that understands some of these violations. I think a lot of people are uneducated on copyright and don't know what they are doing, though that doesn't excuse the violation. Surly we need to do a better job of educating people on copyright.
That being said there are certain people who should know about copyright and their infringement shouldn't be excused. I'm specifically talking about photographers. I've seen countless photographers using copyrighted music in their videos lately. Not only is this a dangerous practice (you could get sued, like this guy) but it's also hurts the creative industry.
How is a creative person supposed to get paid for their work if they keep perpetuating the thing that keeps them from getting paid? It's a damaging practice. In all my videos I use music that is fair use or I buy a license.
Want to stop stealing music for your videos? Excellent! Don't know how to stop? Don't fear. There are plenty of sites out there that provide fair use music or music that can be licensed for a small fee. Here are 4 that come to mind:
Free Music Archive - A great resource for music. Everything on here is free (at least to the best of my knowledge). Make sure you check the Creative Commons license terms before you use the song though. I really love their Music for Video curated section. It features some great music that would work well for the indie film maker.
Incompetech - I haven't perused through this site very much but it seems to have some decent stuff on it. Some of it feels a little synthy but I think there are some gems to be found. Anyone can use the music for free under the proper attribution Creative Commons license. If you don't want to or can't attribute the work you can buy a license for fairly cheap. Details are here.
Friendly Music - These guys have partnered with YouTube and offer some great music. Personally, I think their new redesigned site is hard to navigate. If you agree you can still visit their old layout here. Take caution with this though, if you gain revenue from your video via ads (like the ones YouTube runs at the beginning or during a video) you need to negotiate for another license (this is probably true for all the above sites too).
There are plenty of other resources for music that I haven't mentioned here. If you have any I'd love to hear them in the comments. On a final note, I am not a lawyer so don't read what I said above as the letter of the law. Make sure you do your homework when buying a license and you fully understand what you are agreeing to. It's not easy but it's worth it.