Royalty Free Music copyrighted?

I asked 2 previous questions before, but I still don't understand...

Is royalty free music copyrighted?

I entered the towns video contest and their rules say:


Students often use music in PSAs. Be reminded that only original or uncopyrighted music will be

accepted in a PSA. Violation of this will result in rejection from the contest.

so I went online and typed in uncopyrighted music and got the website

and rechecked their license:

heres excerpt

1. The License: This is a license, not a sale. Footage Firm, Inc. and Free Stock Music (“Footage Firm”) continues to own all content, graphics, video clips, music, sound effects, templates, special effects and photographs (“Stock Files”). Subject to your acceptance of the terms of this agreement (“License Agreement”) Footage Firm hereby grants to you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide right to use the Stock Files as follows:

You may use the Stock Files for nearly any project, including feature films, broadcast, commercial, industrial, and educational video, print projects, multimedia, games, and the internet, as long as the Stock Files have been incorporated into any work with substantial value added by you. Thus, you could incorporate Stock Files into video productions, promotional materials, packaging, web page design, broadcast, products for sale, electronic and print publication, comps, and layouts.

2. Limitations: The Stock Files may not be sold as stand alone clips/stock files, or included in any other media/stock product, library, or collection for distribution or resale. The Stock Files may not be used, in part or in whole, as a trademark or service mark, nor may you claim any proprietary rights of any sort in the Stock Files, or any part thereof. You may not make available some or all of the Stock Files on a web page or other display as a separate or downloadable reuseable file, or disassemble, decompile, reverse engineer, translate, or otherwise decode the Stock Files for any reason whatsoever. If you provide Stock Files or Derivative Works to a client as part of your work product, the client may not reuse the Stock Files or Derivative Works for any purposes other than a review of your work product without purchasing a separate license.

3. Copyright: Footage Firm, its Licensors and Contributors retain all right, title, and interest in and to the Stock Files not expressly granted by the License Grant above. Such rights are protected by the United States and International Copyright laws and international treaty provisions. You may be held legally responsible for any copyright infringement that is caused or encouraged by your failure to abide by the terms of this agreement.


so is the music i got from them copyrighted?

Am I excluded from the contest?! AH

3 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Whoever wrote these rules has given you two choices. They say, "only original or uncopyrighted music will be accepted." If it's original, then it's copyrighted and you, as the author, performer or producer of the recording own the copyright. If it's music for which the copyright has expired, then it is "uncopyrighted music". Note that the only other music available that is "uncopyrighted" would have been published in a foreign country where its copyright expired (e.g., 50 to 90 years after its publication or the death of its last surviving performer, depending upon which country). Also, music composed, performed and recorded by the US government is not copyrighted in the USA. 17 USC 105.

    "Royalty-free" is clearly copyrighted. Royalty-free is a type of license, given for free by the copyright owners. If there is no copyright, there is no copyright owner from whom to obtain the royalty-free (or any other) license, because you don't need one, let alone one for free.

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  • 6 years ago

    Good answer by bcnu but only partially correct, unfortunately. Royalty free does not meen it's free. Often royalty free license can only be obtained for a fee. There is a huge market for royalty free music, footage, and photo.

    Here's a blog post that explains what royalty free means and disspells some common myths:

    or watch this video:

    Youtube thumbnail

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Yes it is. Even free royalty free music like incompetech and danosongs is copyrighted!

    Its just royalty free which means that they sort of lend you the right to use the music, but they still own it.

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