Did you know the top social media content makers can earn up to $40,000 a month from fan support?
That number represents the very top of the internet personality food chain, but more people than ever are making money producing video content. A key component to any video is the right music.
Your favorite songs are all subject to licensing and royalties. Improper use of these licensed tunes will jeopardize your content. The last thing you need is a legal eagle putting the kibosh on your hard work.
Do you know what happens if you don’t use royalty free music? You run the risk of losing your entire money-making hustle. Read on to learn more about the danger of using licensed music without permission.
Chancing It and Copyright Law
With all the millions of internet videos produced every day, what’s the big deal if you use a song you don’t own? It’s not likely you get caught.
You have a point. It’s unlikely a montage of wedding photos set to your favorite song will get flagged. Even if it does, a deleted video will be your only punishment.
It becomes a concern if you use your videos to make money. The most famous case of copyright infringement from internet videos happened several years ago. Michelle Phan, a make-up artist, used licensed music.
Ultra Records sued, and the suit jeopardized Ms. Phan’s business. The lesson is, copyright law is a serious matter. If you make money from your videos, you’re more likely to run afoul of a music publisher.
How Do People Get Caught?
Platforms like YouTube and Facebook use sophisticated search algorithms to find improper use of licensed music. Individual artists and publishers also employ search mechanisms to find illegal use.
With all the content produced daily, it’s hard for the searches to discover all illegal use. More than likely, your video on social media will stay posted for a while.
If and when it’s flagged, it’s because the artist representatives or the platform itself discovered the improper use of licensed music.
The artist or publisher will send a cease and desist order, or the platform deletes the video for violating policy.
Generally speaking, the punishment for using licensed music in videos grows more severe as you make more money. If you’re one of the people who pull in monthly revenue by the thousands, you leave yourself exposed.
If YouTube discovers your improper use of licensed music, they will pull your video. You will also receive a strike against your account and take a YouTube proctored “copyright school” course before you can post again.
Once you receive posting privileges, your strike will disappear after 90 days. Should you receive a total of three strikes within those 90 days, YouTube will pull all your videos, and you will receive a permanent ban.
How do most internet celebrities make money? They make it through advertisement revenue. Music publishers know this, and they are also aware that more exposure is better for their bottom line.
Because of this, many music publishers don’t pull popular videos out of copyright concerns. Instead, the copyright holder petitions the platform to take over the ads placed in the video.
What does this mean? Your video stays posted, but you lose all significant revenue streams from it. Your content will now profit someone other than yourself.
If you monetize your internet content and only receive copyright punishment via the social media platform, you should consider yourself lucky. The legal system doesn’t take copyright infringement lightly.
Violation of the federal Copyright Act brings severe financial penalties. The infringer must pay damages to the copyright holder. These could be substantial if your videos are successful.
The Copyright Act also mandates infringer payments of $200-$150,000 for each work infringed. If you’ve made multiple videos, you could incur a cost well into the millions.
Should you lose your case, you’ll also pay all court fees and face possible jail time if the infringement is severe enough to warrant.
The Consequences of Legal Punishment
Legal punishment due to copyright infringement carries consequences far beyond finances. Your videos will disappear permanently, and you’ll lose opportunities for future revenue.
You also face public scorn and permanent damage to the brand you’ve worked so hard to build. Fewer advertisers will be willing to work with you, and your fans might turn off forever.
Royalty Free Music is Your Friend
Given the harsh punishment that could come from flaunting copyright law, you need a legal way to soundtrack your videos. Royalty free music is so helpful to you.
What Is It?
Royalty free music is music produced and published without strict copyright. Many royalty free music companies provide unlimited music for a subscription fee.
By using it, you can find the perfect music to suit your videos without having to worry about a possible lawsuit. Sure, you won’t be able to use “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” but you can find something similar enough.
What Are Its Uses?
Uses for royalty free music extend far beyond internet content. Many video game developers use this music during the development stages or in the game itself.
Another use is for podcasts. Like internet videos, podcasts are the vanguard of DIY internet content. This music helps you set moods without fear of legal entanglement.
We all have our favorite songs, and that Bob Dylan song might be the perfect fit for your video. Using it without permission could cause permanent damage to your content revenue.
The last thing you need is an expensive lawsuit and bad press. You also can’t afford to have your videos pulled from social media platforms.
Don’t mess around. Massive catalogs of royalty free music exist for your content. Use it and keep that money rolling in.
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