Royalty-free music, audio, video and photo files are an integral part of hybrid photography.
Hybrid photography is a combination of still photos, video, and audio (music, sound effects, or the spoken word). It is critical when using any sound and photos/video, that one has the rights to use them. Thus, today’s topic of Roalty-Free.
Photographers today earn their living by selling the rights to their images. Whether it is a portrait print (not to be scanned and distributed) or a digital file, a user must have permission and rights to use the image before it can be used. Stock agencies have excellent systems set up to make royalty-free purchases online. You can buy rights to photos, videos, illustrations, etc. I am listed with several stock agencies – iStock, Dreamstime, Alamy, and several others. Royalty-free music and sound effects are also offered by online agencies. My favorite is Premium Beat.
Be sure to download and read the royalty-free rights you are purchasing. Keep the documents in a handy place because you may need it to prove your rights to use the digital files. For example, on several occasions with YouTube recently, my rights to use music have been challenged. When I can easily go back to the royalty-free release, copy and paste the important information to defend the dispute on YouTube, that makes life easier.
This week I was challenged again on some Chinese music that I purchased in 2009. There were three copyright holders on the music. Two have released the music for me to use, one did not. Rather than spend significant research time and effort locating the purchase document, I chose to take the hybrid photography project off YouTube, made it a simple video with no sound, and re-uploaded it to YouTube. I don’t know if this little project is worth any more effort, so I may just let it go now, and be more diligent on future projects.