Music Copyright – Using Music Safely on Social Media

Nearly all music is subject to copyright. Anyone who posts videos on social media, be it in a professional or a private capacity, needs to be wary of using music to enhance their content. Even a few seconds of music heard in the background of a short clip can fall foul of the legal regulations.

music copyrightIf you want to use copyrighted music in your socials, there are several ways to do this legally:

  • Search the wide range of music on offer on royalty-free music sites such as Epidemic Sound or Artlist. You need to pay a subscription, but if you post a lot, it’s worth it. A few sites offer a month’s trial for free if you just want to post a one-off video.
  • Use Facebook Sound Collection. This is a Facebook-curated library of custom music and effects, that can be downloaded and used to enhance your video posts.
  • Upload the video privately on YouTube, it will tell you whether the music is subject to copyright. If it is, then don’t use it!
  • If you have time to contact the artist then this is the watertight legal route:
    • Get permission from the artist in advance of posting. Determine if permission is needed.
    • Identify the owner.
    • Identify the rights needed.
    • Contact the owner and negotiate whether payment is required.
    • Get your permission agreement in writing


Don’t forget that In the UK copyright lasts for 70 years from the end of a calendar year in which the author dies, so it should be fine to use any music from artists who passed away pre-1951. However, it is probably best to check if you want to use a particular track at

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