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I need to put together an documentary/informational video. It's being submitted for a competition, so I don't know if I can use CC-SA or CC-NC-SA works like Magnatune. Where can I find CC-BY licenced or equalivent music suitable for use in video?

  • I know of a few sources for music allowed to be used in video productions and so forth, but none of those are free (but not so expensive neither). Let me know if that would be interesting and I can post some suggestions. – Ken Fyrstenberg Oct 31 '12 at 20:24
  • @Abdias that might be a decent answer – Travis Dtfsu Crum Nov 6 '12 at 1:47
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Jamendo has a whole bunch of cc by licensed music.

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  • Jamendo is the best place to begin your quest... Freesound.org also has a selection of music amongst its various SFX collections. A Google for "music Creative Commons" should also yield some useful results, some artists intentionally CC their work for noncommercial use. – Chris Woods Apr 30 '14 at 16:35
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  • CCMixter is a good source of CC (creative commons) music, with a whole category for instrumental music for videos and podcasts.
  • Soundcloud has some CC licensed music, you can filter search results by license type, so you can choose CC-By, CC-NC etc. But most of the music is not free, so check the license details.
  • Youtube offers free music for video creators.
  • The Free Music Archive is another good resource, though not specifically all for video use, the content is CC licensed
  • Incompetech, despite the off putting name is rather good. Not all CC, some are paid-for but royalty free.
  • Well known artist Moby gives free music to students and independent artists. You have to apply for a license.
  • There are several sites that offer Public Domain music. That's usually music that is old enough that the copyright has expired, so good if you're after some retro stylings.

With all of these sites the onus is on you to check the license. Just because you can download it free of charge doesn't necessarily mean you can use it free of charge. The sites offering properly documented Creative Commons licenses are probably the best bet if you want to make sure you're not going to run into trouble.

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I am not sure where to find this or how to make fully certain it is public domain, but all music after 70 years should be public domain, or should be somewhat cheap considering that the copyrights on them have expired

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  • Public Domain rules differ depending on the country of origin (and usage). In Europe, the PD threshold was recently raised from 50 to 70 years (a compromise; lobbying groups wanted 90!) -- see this 2013 Billboard article. Bear in mind only the phonogram copyright expires once the music becomes Public Domain, the other copyrights have different time periods on them. – Chris Woods Apr 30 '14 at 16:33

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