My early work was kind of a joke in that I was told to steal music to make some of that film. At the time, I didn’t know any better. I sheepishly just did as I was told and went with the flow, but now I feel such guilt over that. In the end I went back and replaced all my copyrighted music with music that was legal. It took lots of hard work and I basically had to recut all my edits to make it fit and I honestly feel like I did the right thing.
No one likes their stuff stolen. But you can steal in more than one way. You can steal someones reputation, their lively-hood, or if you’re a time vampire you can waste and therefore steal someones time. As a film maker its also not cool when someone steals your work and throws it on youtube without your permission and claims its there’s or does some other tomfoolery. So I can totally appreciate musicians standing up for their rights to defend their work.
There are so many places that free music can be acquired for film making needs these days though, that its really inexcusable to illegally use music. There is enough stuff out there if your video is just for fun. And if your video was made for profit then there is especially no reason to steal when you can afford it. Here’s just a list of some of my favorite places for free music:
- Vimeo Music Store – Vimeo’s own curated music store makes it quick and easy to get something you need, and they pool resources with theFreeMusicArchive.org music database and other such sources to keep their library afloat. There is so much good stuff here and the nicer stuff only costs like $1.99 if you really have to get it but its just for personal use. Or if you’re a studio needing a more robust license than it’ll be more like $98.00. But again, there are so many free options here that you can surely find SOMETHING!
- Incompetech – Kevin MacLeod has an amazingly large library of free stuff on his website. I’ve used some of his stuff and been very satisfied with it. He only asks that you give him credit if you do use his work, and seriously how hard is that? Oh, and all of it is FREE and useable for commercial uses! Here’s a sample. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=THihnuQJHF4]
- CCMixter – The Creative Commons Mixter is another decent resource. Typically they request that you place the source of where you got the song and a copy of the creative commons license code in the description of your video or in the credits. Also not every song here is useable for commercial use.
If you’re looking for music that’s of a higher quality though, then you’re going to have to pony up the cash. And if you’re gonna do that, you should only do so with the best of the best. For that I recommend The Music Bed and With Etiquette. Both offer some of the best music around and in a later article we’ll be writing about those and other great sources of paid stock music to follow up this one on the freebies.
- Youtube Has Changed Us (shootsharp.wordpress.com)
- Film-maker died while sleeping rough for a project (thetimes.co.uk)
- The Best Free Music Downloading Websites (music.answers.com)
- Vimeo offering indie film makers $10K to distribute their movies via Vimeo first (venturebeat.com)