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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How Much of a Song Can You Use on YouTube Without Copyright?

Music is a powerful tool in video editing. It can add emphasis, emotional impact, and generally change the whole tone of a scene or clip. There is a wealth of free music available, of course.

YouTube itself has a significant library of free-to-use music that you can choose from. But there are times when royalty-free music won’t do.

Whether you’re reviewing songs or you just need a particular song for your content, you’ll no doubt be aware of the minefield that is copyrighted music. You may even be aware of fair use, but don’t worry if you’re not; we’re going to get into all of that soon.

Most YouTubers are aware that you can’t just grab copyrighted music (or any content, for that matter) and put it in your video. At least, not without inevitable consequences. At best you will lose your ability to monetize that video, at worst you will get a copyright strike against your channel, and enough of those will lose your channel entirely!

So, how much of a song can you use on YouTube without copyright coming to bite you in the backside? – The short answer is none! You will need a buy a license to use popular tracks or will need to enter into revenue shares with some artists if they are part of the YouTube Audio Library. If you want music in your videos it is best to use royalty free services or make your own music.

The answer more honest answer is, it complicated – so if you’re with us, we’re about to dive a little deeper.

What is “Fair Use”?

As we’re about to get into a subject matter that strays a little close to legal advice, we must stress that is emphatically not legal advice.

Always seek the advice of a qualified law professional before doing anything that might potentially land you in legal trouble. Now, with that out of the way, let’s get into what fair use is.

Fair use is the name given to the use of copyrighted material in some instances where the use is limited or transformative. You may be wondering what “transformative” means, and you wouldn’t be alone. Inordinate amounts of money have been spent trying to find a clear definition of what constitutes transformative but to no avail.

Established examples of a transformative use of copyrighted material include commentary and criticism, such as news programs showing clips of something accompanied by commentary about that thing. Another example is parody videos.

There is a common myth or misunderstanding that you are allowed to use a certain amount of copyrighted content—a few seconds, say—and you will be protected by fair use. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Fair use covers how copyrighted content is used, not the amount of it.

While it is highly unlikely, it is theoretically possible that the use of copyrighted material in its entirety could be protected by fair use. It would be tough to justify, of course, and the less of a piece of copyrighted material you use, the easier it is to claim that you are using it for transformative means, rather than just stealing it.

It is here that the myth of using only a few seconds comes from; most successful examples of fair use on YouTube are short clips, but the shortness is not what makes them a successful example of fair use. We’ll get more into what these successful examples look like shortly.

To avoid falling into dangerous waters I always use licensing companies like LickD – I pay a small fee per track and know I am covered from all the legal potholes. Go check LickD out, they have a wide selection of popular song and chart music on their website and you can even get one track free!

Fair Use is Not Protection

The main trap people fall into when dealing with fair use is in thinking that it is some kind of protection against copyright claims or lawsuits, but this is not the case.

Fair use is a defense, not a protection. There is no one-size-fits-all application of fair use that a company like YouTube could apply to your usage of copyrighted material. As such, fair use is decided on a case-by-case basis…

…in court.

Yes, unfortunately, the only way to prove you are using copyrighted content within the remit of fair use is by going to court and having them agree with you. And, unless you have a lot of spare cash and time on your hands, the only way that is likely to happen is if you get sued by a copyright holder. Not ideal.

An unfortunate side effect of this is that large copyright holders tend to bludgeon smaller entities with copyright take-downs, knowing full well that the average YouTuber will not have the means to challenge the claim on a legal footing. Combine this with increasingly automated copyright infringement detection employed by YouTube, and you have a scenario in which it is very difficult to use copyrighted content in any capacity.

There are even instances of YouTubers creating cover versions of popular songs using household objects—such as couch cushions and doors—getting copyright claims against them by the owner of the song they are covering.

If you are struggling for places to find free to use and completely safe music – I made a deep dive video on all the places you can find music for free online.

How Much of a Song Can You Use on YouTube Without Copyright Issues?

Now that we’ve taken a deeper dive into how fair use works, we hope it makes more sense when we tell you that the answer to how much of a song you can use without copyright problems is, practically speaking, none.

The reason we say this is because the music industry is particularly aggressive when it comes to protecting its intellectual property. They are not interested in the fair use arguments and will go after any use of their music that they become aware of. Couple that with YouTube’s automated copyright infringement detection, and you have a situation where any attempt to use copyrighted music will likely get flagged.

If the infringement exists (that is, the copyright holder attributed does, in fact, own the copyright to the material in your video), then your only recourse would be to take that copyright holder to court.

It would be extremely unlikely to reach a point where the copyright holder would take you to court, however, as YouTube has plenty of mechanisms in place to protect their interests. From monetizing your video and sending them the proceeds, to removing your channel from the platform entirely.

YouTube will not allow you to infringe copyright continually, so it would take an extremely keen legal department at some music label to see you in taken to court before YouTube resolves the issue for them.

Can YouTubers Control Which Ads Are Shown? 1

Examples of Fair Use

Copying works across a variety of different mediums, including broadcast, is permitted when the use is for examination or instruction, in an academic or industry setting, as long as it meets certain guidelines. Obviously, this is unlikely to apply to your average YouTuber.

An example more relevant to YouTube, however, is using copyrighted content for quotation, critique, or review. Of course, if you post an entire album with little to no commentary, you will struggle to make an argument for fair use. The amount of copyrighted content should be quite limited, and only just enough to get whatever point you are trying to make across.

Other criteria for this kind of fair use include the copyrighted material being publicly available and the source of the content being acknowledged

You can also use copyrighted material of reporting current news, though the situations in which copyrighted music would fit into this category are rare.

Parody, as we mentioned earlier, is also a form of fair use, but this is another area where the boundaries for what constitutes parody are far from clear. Any borderline case may need to be tested in court to receive any kind of definitive decision on the matter.

The final example of fair use involves text and data mining, which clearly doesn’t have any bearing on a discussion about using music in YouTube videos.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers

Can You Use Music in YouTube Videos at All?

There are certainly situations where you could use music—even copyrighted music—in your YouTube videos. If you were to obtain the permission of the copyright holder, for instance, you would be legally allowed to use that music as long as you stuck to whatever terms you agreed, of course.

As we mentioned earlier, there is also non-copyrighted music or music with an open license such as Creative Commons. YouTube provides an impressive library of such music for the very reason of helping YouTubers make their content without falling afoul of copyright strikes. Remember, they want you to succeed.

Finally, you could, of course, use your own music. If you make music and you have not given the rights to that music to anyone else, you are free to do with it as you please.

How Much of a Song Can You Use on YouTube Without Copyright?

Should I Use Copyrighted Music in my YouTube Videos?

The only truly safe option when considering using music in your YouTube videos is to use royalty-free music that is licensed for commercial use.

The commercial aspect is important even if you do not monetize your videos, because you may decide to monetize them someday, and, in any case, some people may disagree with your idea of commercial. They may even be wrong, but you don’t want to have to go to court to prove that.

If you can get permission for the music you should be okay to use it in theory, however, it is worth noting that YouTube’s copyright infringement detection is something of a firehose when it comes to seeking out violations.

There are many examples in the past of YouTubers going to great lengths to obtain permission to use copyrighted material, only to have YouTube flag it as a violation.

In some case, copyright holders themselves have fallen afoul of this system. It has not been uncommon for YouTubers who are part of a content network upload a video of one of their own songs on a private channel and get flagged for copyright because their song was initially played on the content network’s channel.

It is far from a perfect system.

Can YouTubers Control Which Ads Are Shown? 5

What Happens if I Get Caught Using Copyrighted Music?

The consequences vary depending on things like if you are a repeat offender, or how the copyright holder wants to handle the situation. If you are caught infringing copyright, and it is your first time, you will likely just receive a strike against your account. Enough of these strikes, however, and your account could be removed entirely.

In some cases, the copyright holder will opt to leave your video alone, but monetize it and claim the earnings. In those cases, you will not be able to monetize your video yourself, even if the offending music only makes up a small portion of your video. Unfortunately, this is a risk you will have to accept if you want to use copyrighted music.

As mentioned above, it is unlikely you would ever see a courtroom from infringing copyright on YouTube. But, as mentioned even further above, nothing in this post should be considered legal advice. The fact that it is unlikely that you will end up in court should not be seen as a guarantee that you will not end up in court.

How Much of a Song Can You Use on YouTube Without Copyright? 1

Conclusions

The world of YouTube copyright is a bit of a minefield when it comes to knowing exactly what you can and can’t do.

The only way to be genuinely risk-free is only ever to use royalty-free music that is licensed for commercial use. Any time you use copyrighted material, even if it is as clear cut fair use as it gets, could see you receiving copyright strikes against your channel, or worse.

If you do have to use copyrighted music, however, remember the guidelines for what constitutes fair use. Only use the absolute minimum of copyrighted music required to get your point across. Make sure the focus of the video is not the content.

Even with some additional commentary, if the point of the video is very clearly just to listen to the music, it will not be considered fair use.

But, most importantly, remember that fair use is not a protection against legal action. If a copyright holder gets a bee in their bonnet about your use of their music and decides to get the lawyers out, you will not be able to hide behind fair use.

You will need to go to court and convince a judge that your use of the content was fair use. It may not be a likely scenario, but it is one you will have to consider if you insist on using copyrighted music in your videos.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE YOUTUBE

How Much Does it Cost to Start a YouTube Channel?

PewDiePie, Dude Perfect, Whinderssonnunes, and Badabun: what do they have in common? They are the world’s top four YouTubers.

Between them, they have over 50 million subscribers. Their success on YouTube has inspired countless people to want to start their own YouTube channels. Many people, however, stop at the ‘wanting’ stage, and never really get to do it. They’ll give excuses such as “I don’t have time” or “I don’t have money” or “I don’t have the equipment.”

Stories about successful YouTubers only tend to focus on where they are at present and don’t mention how they started out. Nobody starts out successfully in their career. Success comes after years of hard, anonymous and thankless work, until one day that one video that you make goes viral and you become a sensation.

Even so, this doesn’t happen for everybody. Most people will plod along that road to success slowly, but constantly, until one day they look up in surprise and find themselves at the finish line. The key is to start.

In this article, we will look at some basic aspects of YouTube, what you need to start a channel, and how much it costs.

Do you get paid for YouTube? 2

So, How Much Does it Cost to Start a YouTube Channel? – It can be surprisingly cheap. All you really need is a cheap device to capture video, this can be a smartphone, a webcam or a compact camera. This could start from as little as £30/$40 these days second hand. Video editing apps can be free, and uploading costs nothing!

YouTube – A Brief History

YouTube was started by three former PayPal employees after they were frustrated by their inability to find videos that they were looking for online.

It is a video-hosting platform that enables users to upload, view and share videos. True to YouTube’s mission to give anyone and everyone a voice, anyone could upload a video on YouTube.

YouTube’s popularity was such that Google noticed it and, with laudable foresight, purchased it for $ 1.65 billion. With the rise of terrorism and other hate crimes, this has changed, but only because hate crimes are illegal and no one should have the right to share videos about them anyway.

Why YouTube?

There are many reasons why you should have a YouTube channel. Some of these are:

  • Large audience- YouTube has a large and diverse audience, and is used by over one billion people all over the world.
  • Due to the wide-ranging nature of its content, YouTube also reaches a wide demographic of users, from teenagers looking for the latest musical sensation to middle-aged women looking for cooking recipes.
  • The ease of access of this platform also makes it desirable both as a search engine and a form of entertainment.
  • Uploading videos to YouTube is a simple process. All you have to worry about is producing the video.
  • Monetizing- Videos with enough views get monetized. YouTube has thus become a source of livelihood for many creators.
  • Marketing- Investors have also tapped into the business potential of YouTube. Organizations have started their own channels to market their products and penetrate new markets.

Who Can Start a YouTube Channel?

Anyone, and it’s free. If you have a Google account, you can sign into YouTube using your account details.

With these, you can watch videos, subscribe to them, and save videos to watch later.

However, to upload a video, you need a YouTube channel. You can easily create one while signed in to YouTube. Just attempt an action that requires a channel, like commenting on a video. You will get a prompt to create a channel.

If you need help in starting a YouTube channel and opening an account I wrote a full deep dive tutorial in my blog.

For your viewers to know more about you, complete your profile and description. Market your brand in a simple, attractive manner. You can also include additional links about yourself or your content here. Make sure your profile picture is clear and appealing.

In addition to a cover photo, you can also add cover art as a background for your profile picture. Again, it has to capture attention. Your channel is now ready to use.

So far, all you’ve spent creating your channel is the cost of your internet connection (if any) and time. We will now look at the basic items you need to run your channel.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a YouTube Channel?

What You Need To Run A YouTube Channel?

A Camera

Since YouTube is about making videos, you need some form of video recording equipment. If you are starting out, you probably don’t have a lot of money. Due to the growing population of video bloggers, or vloggers, a number of companies now produce cameras specialized for vlogging. This website gives a list of cameras you can get for not more than $100. Not to worry.

Start with what you have. Many YouTubers began their channels with nothing but a smartphone camera. Don’t wait until you can buy a good camera to start creating, because your channel will remain dormant. For your channel to grow, you need views.

If you need help in picking a some good starter equipment check out my resources page where I list my equipment and give you a few tips on tools you may find helpful too.

Tripod Stand

In addition to a camera, you need something to hold it steady while making your videos.

Shaky videos can be quite disconcerting to watch. A tripod stand is a three-legged piece of equipment with a head for mounting a camera. It helps to keep the camera steady during filming and maintains the right angle and height for optimal results. A suitable tripod stand can cost about $170 including shipping.

However, if you don’t have one yet, never fear! You can improvise with a stack of books placed on a desk or a table.

A Microphone

People lose focus when they can’t hear a speaker properly. No matter how good your camera is, without good sound, it will not hold your viewers’ attention.

Aim to own a good external microphone as mobile phones and laptops don’t have very good ones. A good microphone can cost upwards of $150. However, in the meantime, use your phone or laptop microphone. Remember, consistency is key!

I use the Boya BY-MM1 for filming on my camera. Its easy and cheap, great quality sound. I did a deep dive blog into the Boya BY-MM1, its features and how it works, youll be amazed how different microphones work.

Lighting

Lighting can make a great difference to your video. With good lighting, even videos and photos shot from a smartphone can look highly professional. Simple lighting equipment can go for about $110, with the cost rising as the equipment becomes more complex.

If you’re starting out, you probably won’t be able to afford quality lighting. Work on making your videos outside, during the day, as the quality of natural lighting is far better than the lighting in your room.

Video Editing Software

Established YouTubers have professional teams of video editors. Video editing can turn a simple mundane video into a piece of art. You won’t start out with a team of experts, but you can do your video editing yourself using video editing software available online. A good place to start with this is Movavi, an easy to use video editing software that comes with features like color filters, animated transitions, and captions.

I use however use, Adobe Premiere Pro. Its reliable, top of the industry tool with some great, easy to use features. I am not a video editing pro but I can make some great looking videos. The software starts from as little as $10pm and they even offer discounts. Why not check out their website for more details, discounts and deals.

A Screen- Capture Tool

This is software that enables you to take a screenshot of your entire screen or a part of it. If you plan to make how-to videos, this would be a useful investment to make.

A good screen capture tool is Camtasia, which enables you to record an audio as you capture the screen. You can get it at a one-time cost of $249. It also comes as a 30-day free trial. Alternatively, you can use the inbuilt screen-capture feature inn your PC, although the effect won’t quite be the same.

What if I can’t afford to make videos? Or what if I want to have a YouTube channel but I don’t want to use videos of myself? Well, enter Doodly.

Doodly

Depending on the content of your videos, you may not even need a camera, to begin with. For example, if you plan to upload explanatory videos, instead of making a video of yourself talking, you can use video tools.

A good tool you can start with is Doodly. This is a desktop software that allows you to create explainer videos using existing templates that you can suit your needs. It comes with a number of features that can turn you from a YouTube amateur to an expert.

Features that make Doodly an ideal companion for beginners on YouTube include:

  • Drag and drop- You can add images simply by dragging them onto the application.
  • Variety- Doodly uses a variety of boards as a background for the function of explaining. You can choose between whiteboard, blackboards, green board, and glass board.
  • Quality- Doodly offers low to high-quality videos so you don’t have to worry about how your videos look.
  • User-friendly- Doodly is designed to be used by people with little or no technical knowledge about making videos, so you don’t have to worry about lack of IT or video editing experience.
  • Voice recording- You can record your own voice while making the video, or upload a pre-recorded voice.
  • Extensive music and Image Library- Music and images can turn a dull video into a masterpiece. Doodly has a large library of free music and images that you can use to make your video more attractive. You can also add your own images to your video, which Doodly incorporates seamlessly into the presentation.
  • Different hand styles- Doodly has both right and left-hand styles to cater for everyone.

You can purchase a standard Doodly version for $39 per month with basic features. A yearly plan is cheaper and goes for $20 per month. A more advanced version, Enterprise, goes for $ 69 per month, or $40 per month for a yearly plan.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a YouTube Channel? 1

Reaching Your Audience

You now have basic knowledge of how you can start a YouTube channel. You can make high quality, entertaining and educative videos. How will your audience know about you?

First, you have to link your YouTube channel to all your other social media accounts, so that every time you upload a video it is seen on multiple platforms. As you consistently upload videos, more and more users will see your channel, and YouTube will begin to recommend it frequently.

You can also amplify your visibility on YouTube using Search Engine Optimization Tools. These are tools that increase your chances of getting more views by optimizing your presence online.

Successful YouTubers have made use of these tools to grow their audience and penetrate niches they would never have been able to reach. A good SEO tool you can use for this is TubeBuddy.

TubeBuddy

This is an extension you can add to your browser to help you manage your channel, is used by more than 3 million creators. It enables you to know the trending keywords relevant to your channel and how to maximize their use to amplify your channel visibility. With TubeBuddy you can ‘spy’ on your competitors and learn which keywords they use, search for relevant keywords, and constantly update your channel with the best selection.

Using numerous inbuilt templates and tools, you can also save time spent in publishing your videos. TubeBuddy comes with tools that amplify your channel presence across the web, making you rank higher in search results.

Thumbnails are crucial in getting your video quickly noticed. TubeBuddy has a feature that improves them to make them more appealing. The best thing about TubeBuddy is that it is free.

Conclusion

We have looked at the basic items you need to make a video for YouTube. We’ve seen that you don’t really need much money to start your own channel.

You don’t even need a formal location, like a production studio. You can do this from your basement or any other spare room in the house. We’ve seen why you should have your own channel and even how you can optimize it to increase your views and rank high on search results.

There is no shortage of easy to use tools to help you make professional, appealing videos. If you have your ideas ready and you know who you want to target, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have your own channel.

Investing in the items listed here will only bring you positive results quickly but it’s also possible to start your own channel even if you don’t have these things yet.

Start creating.