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How to Stay Away From Copyright Infringement

It may be engaging and fun to add the newest, hottest song to a video to welcome back campers; however, it is likely that the video will be flagged for copyright infringement and you will face some consequences. Copyright infringement is the act of violating any of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights granted by the federal Copyright Act. Copyright was created to protect the work of artists and creatives so that they can have legal recourse when someone uses their work without paying for it. 

In many cases, first-time infringements simply result in videos being taken down. As a user continues to use licensed music without permission, their accounts can be frozen, they could get banned from sites or even be sued by the artist. Adding music to video and posting it to the internet could come with huge consequences to the tune of $150,000, attorney fees, court costs and more. 

As video content became more popular on Facebook, the tech giant developed a copyright algorithm to detect infringements and flag content. This algorithm also applies to Instagram. It is important that your videos are able to post directly to Facebook for user experience and audience tracking purposes. If you try to get around the copyright algorithm by posting a YouTube or Vimeo link, we lose valuable remarketing and tracking data that Facebook provides. Good luck getting around the YouTube algorithm, though. Since 2007 Google has invested nearly $100 million developing the sophisticated Content ID system for YouTube. It is extremely effective and as of 2016, the algorithm had led to around $2 billion in payments to copyright holders.

The good news is, there IS music that you can use without having to go through licensing! The two most simple options are royalty-free music and stock music. Royalty-free music means that you pay one single price and can use the music as much as you want, for as long as you want. It is not completely free music but simply means that you don’t have to continue paying royalties each time the song is played, which is how most major artists make their money. Here are some trusted options for royalty-free music providers that bill on a monthly basis or per-song:

Stock music comes from a library that is already made and ready to license and use. Facebook and YouTube both have their own stock music libraries with free music you can download and use safely in videos. This music is secure for use across all platforms. Some small artists also offer music as stock music as long as you credit them in the video and description. Although stock music may not be exactly what you are looking for, it is a good, free option to avoid copyright infringement.

Before your social media accounts get frozen or videos go live without sound, remember copyright law and the other, more major consequences you can face if you ignore it. Do not, for one instant, think that your camp is too small or insignificant to be caught. If you use someone else’s song in your video without their permission or without proper music licensing, you are infringing on their copyright ownership.