Is your video project is in need of some background music? Or does your podcast need an theme song opening to set you apart? There are a number of legal options for you to find that right song, and I thought it might be helpful to list some ideas.
Reminder: without a good Fair Use argument, simply ripping a commercial CD or downloading your favorite song will be a copyright violation. And if your video will be hosted on a service like YouTube, it's likely that your music will be flagged or stripped from the upload.
The best idea, of course, is to do it the right way and find music you can use legally. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Use MPS' Killer Tracks licensing
The Media Production Studio has a license agreement with Killer Tracks. The MPS has licensed a large portion of Killer Tracks library - over 1,000 CDs worth. We offer access for non-broadcast productions. You can gain access, talk to one of our staff for login info. You'll be able to browse and sample Killer Tracks audio files online, and download WAV, MP3 or AIFF formats. This access is limited to KU Faculty, Staff and Students.
- Find Creative Commons Music
Creative Commons licensing allows content creators - include music makers - the ability to share their work, and have their work used by others, set on their own terms. You can search the Creative Commons database. Or you can filter for CC work on sites like Flickr, YouTube, and Soundcloud. Just make sure you follow the terms of each license (attribution, non-commercial use, etc). You can find more information about how Creative Commons licensing works by visiting their website.
- Other Copyright-Free Sources
I came across a blog post linked from reddit recently, which was a fun list of other sources. I may or may not have spent an hour on the BenSound website.
- Create Your Own Music
Yeah, I'm with most of you - I'm not doing that either. But some of you have the talent and skills to pull it off. And as with anything - music, images, video - no one ever claimed copyright infringement over something you made yourself. Just another element that can make your project more "yours."