This Royalty Free Album Isn’t Really Royalty Free

I try to look for music that I can use for my audio and video podcasts. Earlier this year, I bought an album to add to my royalty free music list – called 75 Full True Royalties Free Song (From Chillout to Techno Free Use Music Album). I looked at a couple sources and it said this was royalty free music.

Two weeks ago, I decided to use a couple tracks from this library for a new production. The songs were great and they fit in. I was happy with the results and finalized the video for upload to sources like YouTube and my cloud.

Album in Question: Various Royalties Free Song

YouTube Disputes Video for Copyright Music

This is what I got from YouTube about the video:

“Free Royalties Song-Converce (Dance)”, sound recording administered by:

Believe

I was set back. This comes from an album that says “Royalty Free Music”. I checked with other online MP3 clearinghouses like MP3.com and iTunes. All stated “royalty free”. Yet, YouTube challenged the copyright (which I am disputing right now – they have until Sept 22nd to reply).

Contacting Amazon About Various Full True Royalties Free Song (From Chillout to Techno Free Use Music Album)

One great thing about Amazon is they have a call center that handles items like this. I called and explained the situation. They did some research and came back with the following:

I am writing to follow up regarding your inquiry about the Copyright of the Album you bought  Various Full True Royalties Free Song (From Chillout to Techno Free Use Music Album) – MP3 Album by Free Royalties Song. Our Technical Team wasn’t able to find out if this Album has copyright.

I have checked the details of this Album in the website and it shows that the copyright of this album is under ErFree. If you wish to have a refund for this album as we discussed before, please call us back for us to make an exception on this.

Cedrick L.

My Review and Request to Pull this Album from Amazon

How can an album that says “free royalties” contain copyright? That would be like a restaurant saying “Free refills on drinks” but then charge you for the refill.

I called Amazon, but chose not get the refund. Reason I did this was if they refund the album, my review of Various Full True Royalties Free Song would be taken down. I don’t want them to take down my review of this product. If I can keep one person from buying this album and keep them from wasting time putting it in a video, then it’s all worth it.

Amazon DID give me $15 credit for the inconvenience. Kudos to Amazon!

Keep in Mind – All Albums Have Copyright

A copyright is intellectual property. If I was to take this music and re-brand it as my own, then the copyright holder can take legal action.

So What Other Music Could Bring Copyright issues?

That is tough to say. Right now, this album is the only one that caused issue when I used it. I have used other albums without issue. There are other legal issues you definitely have to watch out for.

Example: The Royalty free music I post here on How to Record Podcasts is for podcasters only. If you use in a TV show or movie, you have to get permission. Some albums have a “non-commercial” clause, but that might kick in when your videos start making $100,000 or more.

I ended up having to re-mix the video with music that wouldn’t get flagged. After all, I couldn’t wait a month for YouTube to rule on it. I would lose adsense revenue if I was to wait…

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  • Lucy Chastain

    You are very mistaken about the notions of royalty free and copyright.
    The only music that isn’t copyright free is public domain music. Everything else is copyrighted.

    Royalty free does not mean copyright free. Royalty free means that the person who created the work is giving you the permission to reuse the material without having to keep paying that person royalties for the privilege of using it. If ErFree is indeed the publisher of this album and meant for it to be royalty free, it doesn’t matter that the music is copyrighted by it. ErFree released this album for the sole purpose of other people using it in their multimedia projects.

    As for the flag you got at YouTube, think about it. How is it that Amazon is telling you that ErFree has copyrighted this album but YouTube says it’s “Believe”? Two different companies are claiming copyright. How can this be?

    Well, many copyright trolls have been trying to steal revenue from content creators on YouTube by placing false copyright claims. So Believe may in fact have zero claim on the music from this album, but has been able to successfully convince YT that it owns the copyright somehow. Some musicians who create original music have actually had claims filed against them by people who stole their music for their own productions and then claimed copyright. A lot of copyright trolls have made a business of doing this, the most infamous being Orchard Music and AdRev for a Third Party.

    Anyway, the whole point of this is that you have to take any flags from YouTube with a gigantic grain of salt. Once I started getting flags for Kevin McLeod’s music, I knew that it could no longer be trusted.

  • DG_76

    I agree with Lucy but in a way I’m glad you fought it! Royalty free music is tricky and takes some hard research to really know if you are getting what you paid for. I do want to say that purchasing royalty free music regardless if its copyright clear, is a great step to getting music for your productions instead of trying to ask the composers and writers to begin with. Have to start somewhere I say. In any case check out http://www.smartsound.com/royalty-free-music/ they have 100% copyright clear music (depending on country location) and they even state it in their licencing agreement. http://www.smartsound.com/support/licenseinfo

  • Anthony Bardaro

    Do you have contact info for ERFree? I bought this too and want to ask a question about their rf license. I cannot find their contact info.