These days, anyone can make a decent movie, and you don’t even need to be a computer repairs technician to know how to do it! Movie-making has become a very easy pastime, and with such excellent technology like FinalCut Pro and Windows MovieMaker available, there’s more incentive than ever for us to make our own cinematic creation and share them with family members and friends via sharing sites such as Youtube. The problem, however, can lie in the soundtrack. Youtube controls are such that certain songs are not able to be used because of copyright laws, meaning that while you may really, really want Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ as the background to your graduation montage, getting the rights may be another thing entirely. So what is one to do? Surely applying for the rights and going through the mind-numbing bureaucracy that is a record label’s legal department is not worth the fuss (or money) so what you need is a way to source free and legal music. Peter VanRysdam explores the issue of how to go about this in a very insightful article for Mashable. Here are a few of his main ideas:

Creative Commons Licenses:

VanRysdam suggests Creative Commons licenses are a sensible way to go about things:

“If “all rights reserved” is the last thing you want to see when deciding which music to use, then Creative Commons is a beacon of light. The non-profit organization of the same name is designed to let artists share their work with the public with the creator maintaining certain rights. This includes pictures from individuals on sites like Flickr, content from Wikipedia, and, of course, audio tracks.”

Make Your Own

Another option when it comes to soundtrack is to record your own music. If you’re very clever you can compose your own little tune and fine-tune it with a production program like Logic or Protools, but there is another tricky way around getting a good track. Copyrights don;t last forever, which means the work of many classical artists like Beethoven is now ‘public domain’. This means that you can use the composition for free but what you cannot do is use a recording, as that recording will probably still have copyright specifications. If you can read music though, you can purchase or find sheet music and play and record some of the classics yourself–this definitely gives a personal touch to your videos!

Stock Audio

VanRysdam also suggests Stock audio as another option, saying:

“Stock audio libraries work just like stock photo libraries, allowing you to license music for a particular application. But just like stock photos, the license is subject to a lengthy legal agreement restricting use. That said, costs are reasonable with sites like iStockphoto offering music rights from $3.60 to $95 depending on the license selected and type of payment plan you choose. This may be the best option if you’re considering well-known classical works from famous composers or versatile sound loops.”

There you have it. Simple, easy ways to source your video soundtracks, without having to call in a computer support service! Quentin Tarentino, eat your heart out!


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