FAQs

Here’s a list of some of the FAQs and common enquiries that people have about licensing my music. If your question still isn’t answered here, please feel free to get in touch for more information.

Licensing My Music

Can I use your music in my film/trailer/documentary/YouTube video etc?

All of my music that you hear on this website is available to use in your film, documentary or other project but you do need to purchase a license in order to use it. This means any use in things like YouTube videos, websites, trailers or promos (even if it’s short clips or not for profit) will need a license purchased before use. Any public use without a valid license is an infringement of copyright and will be legally pursued.

See the licensing info page for more details.

Is the music free to use?

No, sorry – a paid license is needed in all instances if you wish to use my music in your films, documentaries or any other types of video or production, even if it’s a non-commercial/not-for-profit production.

How much does it cost?

There are 2 types of music on this site: Royalty free music collections (for unlimited repeated use) and non royalty free individual tracks (for one-time licensing).

Royalty free collections are downloadable albums containing 10 or more tracks and are £39.99 for lifetime use of the album.

Individual tracks (non royalty free) are either £9.99 (to license for non-commercial use) or £29.99 (to license for commercial use) and are for use in one video/production. Or you can just buy the music track for personal listening (e.g. on an iPod) without a license for £0.99 each.

More details can be found in the licensing info section.

Which type of license do I need to buy?

There are several types of license you can buy for using my music:

If you buy a royalty free collection (£39.99) this includes the album of music tracks plus a royalty free license that lets you use the music in an unlimited number of videos/trailers/productions etc. without needing to pay anything else. So £39.99 covers everything for these collections, whether it’s for commercial or non-commercial use.

All other individual non royalty free tracks on this site sell for £0.99 which gives you just the music file itself. This doesn’t include any kind of license for using the music in a video and is just to download the music for personal listening (as you would on iTunes or Amazon etc.) or if you want to privately audition the track to see if it’s suitable for your video.

In order to publicly use one of these tracks in a video, you need to choose between either a non-commercial license (£9.99) or a commercial license (£29.99). These types of license allow a one-time use of a track in one specific video/production. What decides the difference between commercial and non-commercial use?

Basically if your video is advertising any kind of product, service, website, app or anything else that makes money, you would need a commercial license. For example, let’s say you’re making a promotional YouTube video to advertise a mobile phone app you’re selling. This would be commercial use. Even if the video itself can be played for free on YouTube, it’s the service or product that you’re promoting which is commercial, so you would need a commercial license.

If the music is for use in any kind of personal, not-for-profit or school/college project, you can use a non-commercial license. As long as the video/production is in no way commercial or earning money, you can use a non-commercial license (although you are allowed to monetize your video on YouTube with a non-commercial license).

But all uses of music in a video or production will require a license of some kind, even if you’re a non-profit organization. If you’re in any doubt which type of license you need, please feel free to contact me with more info and I’ll tell you which license you need.

Can I use your music in a TV broadcast or commercial?

All royalty free collections @£39.99 are pre-cleared for use in any TV broadcasts but individual (non royalty free) tracks must be licensed for TV broadcasts or commercials on a custom basis by arrangement.

If you would like to use any of my individual non royalty free music tracks in a production or commercial for TV broadcast, you will need to arrange a custom license. The cost for a license for TV broadcast is based on several factors; for example, type of production (commercial/trailer etc), territory and duration. If you are interested in using my music in televised uses, please contact me for a custom quote, giving as much detail about your project as possible.

What format are the music downloads in?

All royalty free collections are available in a choice of either highest quality 320 kbps mp3 or uncompressed wav format when you add them to your cart.

All individual (non royalty free) track downloads are delivered as highest quality mp3 files encoded at 320 kbps. If you would prefer to receive these in wav, aiff or any other format, just let me know after purchasing and I’ll be happy to send you the music in any format you prefer. You can order and download the mp3 instantly and I’ll send the file(s) in your required format, usually within 24 hours.

I don’t want to license your music, just play it on my iPod

If you just want to listen to my music and not use it in any production, of course – it can be bought and downloaded to listen to just as you would from any other online music retailer like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify etc. (in fact most of my tracks are also available from those stores as well if you prefer to buy from there). Play it on your PC, put it on your iPod, burn it to CD and listen in the car or however you like to listen to your music.

Single tracks are just £0.99 for a highest quality mp3 (320kbps format). Unfortunately my royalty free music collections are only available to buy as complete licensed collections at £39.99 each and aren’t available as individual tracks to buy for personal use.

Can I license a track or a short sample to use in my own song?

No, sorry, but this is absolutely not possible for copyright and publishing reasons. Tracks can be licensed for background use within films, documentaries, trailers, videos and other audiovisual projects but not to be used as samples, clips or as any underlying basis (no matter how minor) in a new work, song or piece of music of your own.

I have had bands take samples of my work and use it without permission for use in their tracks and this always gets back to me eventually via music recognition software. I always follow up unlicensed use and unfortunately have had situations where major labels have had to drop acts and releases who have sampled my work without permission. I don’t like having to do it but I’m only protecting my rights so please don’t put yourself at risk. If you really need a specific sample, I may be able to compose and record one for you (get in touch if you want to discuss custom projects).

I’d like to license more than one individual track – do you offer a bulk discount?

Yes of course. If you’re interested in purchasing multiple licenses for more than one of my non royalty free tracks, get in touch with me with details of how many tracks you’re interested in and some info about your project and I’d be happy to arrange a discount for a selection of pieces. Contact me here.

Please note, due to copyright and publishing reasons I cannot split any of the royalty free collections down into individual tracks. These are only available as complete collections.

Using my music on YouTube

If you’re going to be using my music in a YouTube video you need to purchase a license to use it (not just purchase the mp3 track – if you’re using my music without a license or permission, you run the risk of a copyright strike on your account so please ensure you license a track before you use it in any videos.)

When you upload a video to YouTube which contains music of mine you may receive an automatic ContentID copyright notice from YouTube identifying that track as mine (even if you’ve purchased a license from me). Because of how YouTube’s ContentID system works, these claims are automatically generated by YouTube but can usually be resolved easily if you’ve bought a license (if it recognises the music as something other than my music, please see the Incorrect ContentID Claims section below).

What To Do If You Get A ContentID Notice
You can either provide proof of your license to YouTube yourself or you can contact me to release the ContentID claim on your video. If you’re in any doubt or you’re having any problems with a ContentID claim regarding my music, please contact me here and include a link to your video on YouTube. It can usually be sorted fairly quickly so please be patient and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Incorrect ContentID Claims
There are occasional instances where YouTube’s ContentID system incorrectly matches a piece of music in a video to something completely different. ContentID is fairly accurate but it does occasionally make mistakes. I have been notified of a few rare instances where my music has been identified by YouTube as a completely different piece of music by a different artist. These tend to be the more atmospheric tracks which don’t have vocals or drums etc. and may be confused as something different (for example birdsong!)

In these instances where it identifies the wrong music, I unfortunately have no way of releasing the claim and you will need to file a dispute with the person making the claim (usually a record label or publisher). You can file a dispute if you get a genuine incorrect ContentID warning but the appeal is in the hands of the claimant. If the music you used is definitely mine but it’s identified as something else, they have no legal right to put a claim on it and should release the claim after reviewing it. This whole process is something that YouTube really needs to look at and reconsider the appeals process, as their system doesn’t provide an easy method to contact anyone for help.


Royalty Free Music

What is royalty free music?

There’s a common misconception that “royalty free” media (music/photos/videos etc.) is completely free to use. “Royalty free” has different meanings depending on who you license from, but there are very few instances where there is absolutely no charge to use this type of content. Just because the word ‘Free’ is in there, many people wrongly assume there is no cost. That’s not to say that completely free-to-use music doesn’t exist, but there is very little of it around.

The phrase ‘Royalty Free’ is just a broad term used to describe a licensing model, and in nearly all cases there will usually be at least an initial one-time fee to pay. The ‘Free’ part refers to the fact that after the initial purchase cost it’s (generally) free from further fees (or ‘royalties’) such as renewable yearly fees, or repeat fees to use the music in multiple productions.

With my terms, once you purchase any of my royalty free music collections for the one-time price of £39.99 each, a license is included which allows the music to be used in an unlimited number of films, documentaries, video games and other audio visual productions, by the original purchaser, without the need to pay any further license fee (or “royalty”) each time the music is used in a new film or production.

So what you’re really paying for is a lifetime license to keep using the music in multiple situations, usually with some specific conditions. Technically it would probably be more accurate to call it something like ‘One time payment for repeated lifetime licensed use’ music but the term ‘Royalty Free’ is obviously a lot simpler and has become a common umbrella term for this form of licensing.

And don’t forget, you’re also getting the ability to earn money through using my music in your films. Whether you want to sell your films on DVD or monetise them on YouTube, my royalty free music gives you the right to use my music in your paid productions without needing to pay me any more for music use.

So the one fee you pay to download & license each music collection is all you ever need to pay to use it – even if your video takes off and is hugely successful, you won’t need to pay any further costs for using the music!

After buying and downloading my royalty free music, you can start using it immediately in your productions. There’s no restriction on the number of different films and videos this music can be used in, but it must only be used by the original single-user purchaser and cannot be transferred to any third parties. If you are producing a production for a third-party client, they must be the end user of the music and will need to purchase their own copy of the collection in order to use the music in their film.

One other misconception is that royalty free music has no copyright. All music (or any other intellectual property) instantly has a copyright assigned to its creator the minute it’s put into any tangible form (this could be as soon as it’s physically recorded or even just written out as sheet music). Even if a composer or musician chooses to let anyone use his music for free, the copyright still exists and is owned by the creator; he’s just decided not to charge you for the privilege of using it. If you search around, you may be lucky enough to find musicians willing to let you use their music for no cost (or maybe for a credit) but in reality these are very much in the minority.

So the term ‘Copyright Free Music’, while sometimes used to describe Royalty Free Music, is misleading as the music does have a copyright, but the owner may simply be waiving any charge to use it.

One last point refers to TV broadcast royalties. If a piece of music is used in a film or documentary that’s broadcast on television, the broadcasting network (e.g. BBC, NBC, ABC etc.) is usually required to pay a public performance fee to whoever owns the rights in the music. The networks pay large annual fees to Performing Rights Organisations (PROs) such as ASCAP, PRS, SOCAN etc. who then distribute this money equally to their members. To ensure the money is fairly distributed, the networks provide cue sheets to the PROs which show who wrote the music, how long it was played for etc.

So if you produce a film that goes on to be broadcast on television, you’ll be required to provide the cue sheet info to the network, but this is a straightforward piece of paperwork that lists things like the composer and length of music used, and more importantly doesn’t cost you anything! All performance royalties are paid by the network, so for all intents and purposes, it is still free of any further payments by you, the filmmaker.

But to be technically 100% truly Royalty Free, the composer or musician cannot be a member of any PRO or collection agency, and therefore would not be due any performance royalties if their music is played on TV. Libraries such as this do exist but are generally in the minority due to the fact that this is where a large percentage of their income would be hoped to be generated. Therefore most providers of Royalty Free Music (myself included) would be due performance royalties from the networks if their music is played on television. But to reiterate, this involves no further payment from the producer or filmmaker (i.e. you) and is covered by the networks’ annual blanket payments.

Hopefully that clears up some of the basic myths and misconceptions about Royalty Free Music but if you have any questions or are unsure about any of my terms, please feel free to get in touch and I’ll be happy to discuss it further.

Can I buy a single royalty free track?

No, unfortunately not. It’s not possible to buy or license individual tracks from a royalty free album as they are only available as complete collections.

I’m a freelance video editor – can I use a collection in all my clients’ projects?

My royalty free music collections are licensed to one end-user only (the person, or company who purchased the collection). Therefore if you’re a freelance video editor who’s bought a royalty-free collection, this music is licensed only to you for use in your own projects.

If you work for many different clients and want to use the music in each of their projects, each client would need to buy their own copy of a collection in order to use the music in their video. You can play the music privately to a client to audition it for a project, but if they would like to use that track, your client would need to buy their own copy.

I’m happy to arrange a discount if you have an ongoing client base and want to buy repeat collections for each new client to use.


Payment

How can I pay for your music and is it secure?

This site uses PayPal to process payment transactions so all sales are handled securely by PayPal at the final checkout with no payment details or credit card information ever being stored, passed to this site or seen by me. Thebluemask.com is a PayPal-verified business seller so you can shop with confidence.

You don’t even need to have a PayPal account to buy your music – you can also login to PayPal as a guest at the checkout and use any major credit or debit card without needing a PayPal account.

After PayPal has processed the transaction you’ll instantly receive a download link to your music/licenses via email. In the event of any problems, you can contact me and I’ll sort out any issues, typically within 24 hours (or usually much sooner depending on the time difference!)

Your prices are in £ but can I pay in my own country’s currency?

While the prices in the shop are all displayed in British Pounds (£ GBP), PayPal automatically converts the amount into the currency of your country (with no additional charge to you) during payment processing. If you want to see how much an amount will be in a different currency, please use the currency converter here.

Is VAT included?

Due to new EU VAT tax laws as of Jan 1st 2015, anyone who sells digital content online must now also charge VAT according to the tax rate of the customer’s country.

Because of this, if you are based in an EU country, I am forced to charge VAT on top of my regular prices depending on the country you are in. When you reach the checkout and confirm your address, any applicable VAT will be added according to your country’s rate which you will be able to review before you actually pay. This obviously doesn’t affect any customers buying outside of the EU.

Unfortunately this complicated and burdensome law is making it extremely difficult for small businesses to trade online and I apologise to my customers in the EU who now have to pay higher prices than non-EU customers. If you feel strongly against this, please sign this petition and lobby your own country’s government to review this unfair and complex law for small businesses:

https://www.change.org/p/pierre-moscovici-a-unilateral-suspension-of-the-introduction-of-the-new-eu-vat-laws-for-micro-businesses-and-sole-traders


Problems

I’ve received a YouTube Content ID warning

YouTube’s Content ID system attempts to match music used in videos with its database of copyright owners and is intended to earn advertising revenue for the copyright owner. If you’ve used a track of mine in your video and you’ve already purchased a license from me, you don’t have to have adverts placed on your video and you can show your license to YouTube to remove the dispute.

Alternatively if you’ve bought a license, you can also drop me a quick message with your YouTube channel or video URL and I’ll get the claim released for you. Please contact me here and I’ll do the rest.

I’ve paid using PayPal echeck but haven’t received my download yet

A PayPal echeck is often used during payment if you don’t have a credit/debit card connected to your PayPal account and there are no actual funds in your PayPal account.

It means that PayPal has to first transfer money out of your bank account before the the transaction fully clears into my account. This typically takes around 5-7 business days to fully clear, so if you’ve used PayPal’s echeck service to pay for your download or license you will receive your download as soon as the payment clears, so please be patient.

I have a problem downloading or haven’t received my order

After placing an order you should receive an email with details of how to download your music/licenses within a few minutes. If you don’t receive a confirmation email with download details shortly after completing your order, please first check your junk/spam email folders! Unfortunately it’s quite common for download emails to be mistakenly put in people’s junk/spam by services such as Gmail or Hotmail who don’t recognise my email address and think I’m sending you junk. I’m not!

Also please make sure you are checking the email address you entered on the checkout page (some people choose to use an email address on the checkout page that’s different from their PayPal address used to pay for the order, so please make sure you check the right account).

If you still haven’t receive your download details within an hour of placing the order, or have any other problems downloading your files, please contact me here.

I will get back to you as soon as is humanly possible but please note that as I’m based in the UK there may be a time difference if you’re in another country. I always answer order queries with a solution ASAP, usually within a few hours at most but please be patient if you don’t receive a reply instantly – I’m probably just asleep or not near a computer!


Miscellaneous

Why does someone keep saying “thebluemask.com” over the previews – are you an egomaniac?

I am, but that’s irrelevant ;)

The voiceover you hear when listening to the music on this site is only present on the preview tracks, and is there for copyright reasons. I’m sorry, I know it’s annoying but it should give you enough of an idea of the actual track. When you buy and download any music, this voiceover will obviously not be present!

I can’t find the type of track I want – can you write me a specific piece of music?

Custom composition of a specific style of track can be done depending on what you need. Please contact me with details of the type of track you need, including as much information as possible. For example:

  • what budget do you have in place?
  • what style of music do you need?
  • how many pieces of music do you need?
  • when is your deadline for completing the music?
  • are you looking for complete ownership of the track or just the rights to be able to use it in your project?

Any info you can give will help me to work out a quote and timeframe.