Copyright can be confusing, no doubt about that. So what exactly is the difference between copyright free and royalty free music? Let us explain!

When it comes to music licensing and the different types of copyright, it can be difficult to know what’s what. At Synchedin, we take care of the relevant licensing, like the sync license, so you can stick to doing what you do best – creating. All the music in our catalogue is royalty free. But what does royalty free mean?

Royalty Free Music

The temptation to just use your favourite track by a chart topping artist can be hard to resist. But, it’s important that you do. Sadly, using music that you don’t have the appropriates rights to can lead to some copyright issues down the line. You can receive DMCA strikes if you use copyrighted music in a Twitch stream, for instance. And if you want to license a famous track, chances are you’re going to be a bit stunned by the cost.

Royalty free music refers to music that can be used without you having to pay royalties to the rights holder every time the track is used. The licensee (that’s you!) pays a one off fee for a track, and can then use the music without owning the copyright or paying on a per-use basis. This type of music is great for accompanying projects where the budget may be a little limited.

In the case of Synchedin, you pay a subscription – either $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year – which enables you to use all the tracks from the catalogue in this way.

Difference Between Copyright Free & Royalty Free

So, now you know what royalty free means, you might be wondering “isn’t that just copyright free with a different name?”

As previously mentioned, paying the one off fee for royalty free music allows you to use it without owning the copyright. Even royalty free music is protected by copyright. Most things are automatically protected by copyright once they are fixed as a tangible object. The length of time they are protected for varies depending on what it is, and the country. But, generally works are copyrighted during the lifetime of the author plus 50 years.

Works are only truly copyright free if the timeframe has expired, or if the author has stated the work is public domain.

If you don’t feel like diving into the world of copyright and licensing, sign up to Synchedin today! Whether you’re working on an indie film or putting together craft tutorials, add fantastic music without the fuss. We take care of the complicated stuff, so you can use great music across your projects with no issues.