10 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2013 10:31 AM by the_wine_snob

    commercial use of music clips


      Can I use the free music clips in Premiere Elements for commercial use in videos? Or how about if they are just on youtube but non commercial?

        • 1. Re: commercial use of music clips
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Yes, to the SmartSound Music.


          For US licensing, see: http://www.smartsound.com/support/licenseinfo

          For international licensing, see: http://www.smartsound.com/support/nonpro


          For more info on SmartSound in general, see this article: http://forums.adobe.com/message/2391196#2391196


          Good luck,



          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: commercial use of music clips
            Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            The SmartSound license requires that when used in sync work, "the music portion of the media is not retrievable and extractable in its original form" - which means it has to be mixed with something (dialog, ambient, etc.).

            • 4. Re: commercial use of music clips
              whsprague Level 4

              A trip to https://vimeo.com/musicstore will locate a few thousand more SmartSound tracks that you can buy for $2.00 each.

              • 5. Re: commercial use of music clips
                bferge Level 1

                wow, thanks whsprague!

                • 6. Re: commercial use of music clips
                  A.T. Romano Level 7

                  Hunt has referred you to information on US and Internal Licensing. I would suggest that you read those carefully.


                  Also, equally important is reading very carefully the terms of agreement even for purchased music. Purchased or free music does not always give you unrestricted use of that  music. That has been my experience.



                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 7. Re: commercial use of music clips
                    whsprague Level 4

                    A.T. Romano wrote:


                    ........That has been my experience.




                    It makes sense that we don't use world famous music for our amature videos if we put them on YouTube or Vimeo.  But, if it is only going to be viewed by close friends and family, that is personal use of music you buy.


                    In the only case I've used commercial music in a video, I emailed the artist for permission.  I emphasised it was not for personal use.  He gave me permission as long as I properly credited him and provided links where others could purchase his music.  It is on Vimeo, features a trip to the Grand Canyon and is up to about 50 plays.  My family counts for about 10!



                    • 8. Re: commercial use of music clips
                      the_wine_snob Level 9



                      This thread opens a "can-o-worms," regarding the use of intellectual properties. This is a subject about which many multi-volume books have been written and about which entire college courses are taught. There are also two different aspects posed - the legal and the ethical. Those are related, but are different.


                      When one is creating a Project (an intllectual property in itself), and they use other intellectual properties, there are legal ramifications, and those are usually spelled out pretty clearly (though usually in legalese) by the various licensing organizations. In the case of SmartSound, we have tried to point the OP to the documents, which should be able to answer the exact question - use of SmartSound music.


                      Now, and in the case of most PrE Projects, the use of others' © work gets divided into several parts:


                      "Can I use © material in my Project?" Yes, it is physically possible to use that material, even overcoming various forms of DRM (Digital Rights Management) or Copy Protection.


                      Now comes the part, where we ask "is it legal to do so?" No, without complete and explict permission from the holder of the © or licensing organization/company. However, that does not address the question, "Will I ever get caught?" Who knows?


                      However, the next part is, "should I use such material?" Here is the ethical part of the issue. One has to ask this question of themselves. Usually the rationalization is "I own that copy of the property (SmartSound, iTunes, CD/SACD/DVD, etc.), and will ONLY exhibit the Project to myself, or my immediate family." That normally gets one off that "ethical hook." That is, until one decides to post their Project to YouTube, Vimeo, etc.. The various display/hosting organizations are grappling with the delimma of what to do with © material, even embedded in a video. Pressure is being brought to bear on them from many different licensing organizations, and from the creators of such material. This is an ongoing "play," and we do not know how it will end.


                      Due to licensing, I do not use © material, outside of SmartSound, and similar (I have several similar collections), even for my personal use, as I never know to whom I might exhibit that video, though I initially intend it just for me, and my immediate family. Even with SmartSound, there is the issue of whether someone can rip the music (in this case) from the video and use it. Well, there is almost certainly someone who CAN rip the music, and perhaps even filter out speech, SFX, etc., yielding the music in pretty good form - if they so wish. Technology to do such is available, though the expertise to do so is rather limited - only a few likely audience members have it, and are so inclined to do so. Still, some could, if they wish.


                      Where does that leave us? Well, I see it surrounded by a room full of lawyers and ethicists. I do not wish to go there, as I am neither an attorney, nor an ethicist, and do not even play one on TV. A lot to consider, hence the term "can-o-worms." There are just so many "what if's," that we could fill up this forum, and never get an answer, that addresses every eventuality. Also, as electronic delivery is rather in its infancy, decisions are still being written. Last time that I studied © law and intellectual properties was in early 1976. Later that same year, the US © laws were rewritten. That was long before electronic distribution and digital reproduction. The laws are being rewritten, as I type.


                      Just some thoughts,



                      • 9. Re: commercial use of music clips
                        whsprague Level 4



                        I didn't mean to make you write so much. 


                        I have used one copyrighted piece in one video that is on Vimeo with the artists full permission by email.  Only one.


                        This is clearly an area where ethics, the law and technology are in flux.  If a kid goes to a concert, videos her friend dancing and shares a clip via email, YT or Vimeo has she committed a crime?  Perhaps.  Is she morally corrupt? Probably not. 


                        If the speed limit is 60, the traffic is moving at 68 and I'm going 55, am I committing a crime?  Probably not.  Is it morally correct to create a traffic hazard by not staying with the flow?  Probably yes.


                        The person who gave me permission was pleased to get the extra exposure.  He is not famous.  With luck, my video pushes a little business to his website.


                        Many want to believe the legal world is clear and understandable in black and white terms.  It is in fact horribly gray. 


                        Forgive me if I overstepped.  I'll get back to learning how to get crisp slide shows on Vimeo!  I'm safer there.



                        • 10. Re: commercial use of music clips
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          The person who gave me permission was pleased to get the extra exposure.  He is not famous.  With luck, my video pushes a little business to his website.

                          This is often the way that it is. Over the years, I have granted reproduction rights to my work, for good reasons, beyond monetary payment. Sometimes, it was for those credits, and sometimes, it was for a good "cause." Asking is always the best way to proceed, and many are surprised at how ready a creator is to help out.


                          Many want to believe the legal world is clear and understandable in black and white terms.  It is in fact horribly gray.

                          Black and white would be great, but we ARE talking about things, that attorneys and the judiciary (plus Congress in the US) are involved in, so we can abandon all hope. The levels of gray are astounding, to say the least. Also, every change in technology will blur the boundaries even more. Little hope for simple resolution. The examples that you cite are good, as they show how the lines can be blurred. It is not a simple situation - no right/wrong, no black/white. That is why there is so much material out there, and the list grows longer every year, or maybe every other Congressional Session (in the US again). Stuff changes, and there are always things that exist today, that did not, when the last tome went to print.


                          The discussions are usually shorter in the PrE Forum, due to the nature of most Projects, where in the PrPro Forum, they go on, and on, and on. Often, an intellectual properties attorny WILL drop by the thread, and things get VERY confused then.