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AP 0707: What Are the Rules about Using Music in Videos and Podcasts?

AP 0707: What Are the Rules about Using Music in Videos and Podcasts?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 707 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: What’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 707 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.

We have an awesome question today from Bryan, but before we get to that, I do want to thank today’s sponsor which is Braintree. You know, it’s awesome when your customers want to pay you right, but what if they could pay you in every way possible? Well Braintree lets you accept all forms of payment including PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and more. Now you can take them all in over 134 currencies. How awesome is that? As your company grows, Braintree will stay by your side, from your first dollar, to your billionth. All it takes is a couple of lines of code to get started. To learn more visit

All right, now heres today’s question from Bryan.

Bryan: My name’s Bryan Colvin. I’m co-podcaster of The Business Plan podcast. My question is for your episode with your attorney. Wondering about the use of music on embedded videos on your website and on podcasts. I know you can buy music that you can use, that you can use the copyrights on, but if your site who the artist is for the music, can you use that music as well? Giving them credit for the music? Just want to know the ins and outs of using music on podcasts and in embedded videos on your websites. I hope we can get that question answered and thanks so much for your podcasts and your website. Thanks so much. Bye bye.

Pat Flynn: Hey Bryan. Thank you so much for the question. I don’t recall that we actually specifically answered your question on the recent podcast that we did for all the legal stuff, but we will be answering more of those questions, doing more episodes like that, because I know that was incredibly useful. But I wanted to take a stab specifically at your question because this is something I’ve dealt with before. Now of course, I’m not a lawyer, and just to make sure and full disclosure, I’m not a lawyer, check with your own professional lawyer and attorney etc. But in terms of using music in videos and podcasts, I would highly recommend just making sure that you take the safe route and use royalty free music. Even when you use royalty free music, you read the terms of what it is that you purchase to see and make sure that that’s something that you can use.

Now I have purchased audio on sites like, they actually have an audio section that you can pull from. They have a ton of different kinds of music and sound effects that you can use in there that are royalty free. also has a lot of great music that you could pull out and use for videos and podcasts. Once you pay for those, you can use them and not have to worry about leaving credit or anything like that.

But I think the more important part of your question is well, can you use other people’s music and credit? In most cases, you can’t and you shouldn’t. If it’s for commercial purposes, you definitely cannot, and even if it’s for recreational, it depends on who’s working with that band or that group and what they want. At any moment in time, they can change their mind. Even if they let people do it for a while, they can always change their mind and go after those people so I wouldn’t even risk doing that. Unless you had a relationship with that band or artist, and you had a signed agreement or license to use that, that you’ve purchased or gotten permission to use from them specifically, then don’t do it. Even a credit wouldn’t do it.

Now I know that when I’ve used other people’s music on YouTube, YouTube will automatically scan those videos and automatically credit those companies, but they’re still making money because their link automatically gets posted on there and the music gets sold, that is the iTunes links are on there and all that stuff is all integrated. That’s why it’s different than you if you were to upload something on Wistia for example, or another video hosting platform with somebody else’s music, and then posting it on your own site and giving them credit for it. I mean, that’s not going to be enough in most cases, so I wouldn’t even worry about that. Just continue to use royalty free music.

Now there is one exception to using other people’s music, and that’s if it’s in the public domain, meaning it’s music that is free for the public to use. You can probably look up sites, I wonder if there’s a site. Let me look that up right now. Public domain music. Public domain music, “Music and lyrics published in 1922 or earlier are in the public domain in the USA. No one can claim ownership of a song in the public domain, therefore public domain songs can be freely used with no fees or royalties payable to anyone.” It seems like they have a massive list here. Again, that’s Now again, these are music and lyrics published in 1922 or earlier, so just think about that era and what kinds of songs, classical songs and so on and so forth.

Just again, be very careful. There’s actually a lot of good copyright law information on here too. Be very careful. You definitely don’t want to step over anybody’s intellectual properties. I’ve dealt with that before with using trademarks and domain names and it’s just not fun.

Bryan, be safe. Keep up the good work and hopefully this answers your question. Again, I would check with an attorney just to verify everything that I had just said. I am not a lawyer myself, but yeah, thank you so much Bryan. We’re going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

Thank you so much. I appreciate you and heres a quote from football legend, Joe Namath, he says, “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?”

Here here to that. Cheers and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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