how to know if music is copyrighted

How to see if a song is Copyrighted?

The answer to this question is simple: almost all music is under copyright.

Everything depends on the use you are going to give to that song.

If it’s for purely personal use yes, you can use it without a problem, for example, to play on your smartphone or in a homemade video that you do not intend to monetize. If it is for educational or commercial purposes or you want to add the music on a video that you’re going to upload to Youtube then you have to be careful and follow the rules.

The easiest way to know if a song is free of copyrights


A great way to know under what kind of rights is a song is going to the Youtube Music Policies section.

Clicking once you have logged into your account, so you see this screen:

how to see if a song is copyrighted on youtube

In its own search box (marked with number 1) you can add the name of any song to see under what copyright is.

Having found the corresponding song, click on the small arrow down that appears to the left of its title (marked with number 2) and a pop-up opens with the following information:

how to check if a song is copyrighted on youtube

As we can see, it says in which countries of the world is allowed to use the original song for a video (number 3 in the image) or a cover interpreted by us (number 4).

It is therefore possible that, as in the example above, if we use the song “Duele el corazón” from Enrique Iglesias, our video will not be available in 2 countries (Germany and Switzerland) as they have more restrictive policies and, as shown in the following image, the author of the song can make money playing ads on our video:

how to find out if a song is copyrighted on youtube

What can we do to prevent this from happening?

If there’s a song that doesn’t appear in Youtube’s music policy can be also under copyright and maybe is not in its database. The best thing we can do is not to take risks since we are exposed not only to our video being blocked, but to have legal problems afterward.

We will use then royalty free music to follow the guidelines.

A good free alternative for our YouTube videos is to use its own Audio Library, where we can download thousands of royalty free music from many different genres. The only thing we have to consider is the attribution.

Attribution means that we have to explain in the video description who the author of the music is. For example, if we use the song Heavy Drum Bass, from artist Audionautix, we should put a phrase like this:

Heavy Drums Bass from Audionautix is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution license (


If you want -or need- to know more about the topic, we wrote an in-depth guide about what is music without copyright. Worth reading!

Music without copyright for commercial projects

Alternatively, if you want to use high-quality music for commercials, video games, radio, television or movies (or you simply don’t w to attribute the author) you can always acquire the relevant licenses.

The best marketplace we know for this matter is AudioJungle. There you can find almost half a million royalty-free songs and sound effects classified by genre and with very affordable prices depending on the type of license you need to purchase.

It will not be the same to place our song in a video that on the radio or in a movie, but here we can check in 2 minutes what license you need.

4 replies
  1. thomas wayne hawkins hawkins
    thomas wayne hawkins hawkins says:

    The easiest way that I do is create another channel just for testing your finished product so that means your main account will not be touched but your other account will get the copyrights example I want to test best of bratayley with Akon Lonely or something I uploaded to my spare account had a copyright strike so tested again with a different song no copyright they’re not loaded it to my original channel

    • Pablo
      Pablo says:

      Yeah, or purchase a simple license on marketplaces like Audiojungle because it’s cheap, it hass good quality and saves you a ton of time!


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