gamer with headset searching for DMCA safe music

DMCA Safe Music for Streams

Copyright can be the bane of many Content Creators’ existence.

Finding music that you can use without fear of being struck down by the ever present copyright infringement police can be a dense world to sift through, and it is important to find music that is  safe from any DMCA retribution. 

If you are looking for DMCA safe music to stream in the background of your content, especially for Twitch, click the button below to checkout this stream safe music. 

This music is also part of “Sountrack for Twitch” so perfect if you need it for Twitch streams in particular. 

If you want to learn more about what a DMCA violation is, what type of music is allowed on Twicth and other sources of great DMCA safe music, read on. ☺️

What is a DMCA violation?

If you are not already aware, DMCA stands for DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT, and in its very basic form from the viewpoint of us gamers and streamers at least, gives copyright owners very tight control over their creative works. 

The act has caused big problems for streamers, especially on Twitch as suddenly a music copyright holder can issue a “takedown notice” if they believe their music copyright is being infringed. 

This is causing major headaches for Twitch streamers and users of music in streams worldwide as suddenly their streams are in violation of copyright and have to be taken down.

This situation is still unfolding but right now, October 2020, streamers on Twitch are having their life work and life content on Twitch threatened without the means to appeal. For example, here is a tweet by the streamer, Devin Nash, highlighting what is currently happening.

This is terrifying for content creators and a pretty horrendous experience when it happens.

The solution to avoiding the dreaded DMCA take down notice and to future-proof your content on Twitch and YouTube, is to use safe to stream music that you know you have the full right to use in your streams without question. 

What type of music can I use on Twitch?

The Twitch community guidelines are really clear on what type of music content Twitch allows.

It states the following at the time of writing this article, October 2020. 

Here are some example types of music content you may use in Twitch streams and on-demand content:

  • Music Owned By You – Original music which was written by you and either recorded or performed live by you, and for which you own or control all rights necessary to share the music on Twitch, including the rights to the recording, performance, and to the underlying music and lyrics. 
  • Music Licensed To You – Copyrighted music owned in whole or part by someone other than you, if you have secured a license to share it on Twitch from the relevant copyright holders.
  • Music Streamed Using Soundtrack by Twitch – Music added to your live streams using Soundtrack by Twitch
  • Twitch Sings Performance – A vocal performance of a song as captured in Twitch Sings gameplay, provided it is created in accordance with Twitch’s Terms of Service.

Unfortunately we are not all legal gurus however and navigating the world of royalty free music, non-copyright music and DMCA safe music can be a daunting and tricky one.

Where can I find DMCA safe Music for my streams?

To give some direction, below is a list of websites and resources you can use for free (providing you follow all of their rules for attribution) that are safe from any DMCA retribution. 

The following is not an exhaustive list by any means. New channels, artists, and websites will continue to emerge in the future that will carry on the service of supplying content creators with music for their streams and videos. This will, however, hopefully be a helpful list of places where new creators entering the somewhat daunting world of Twitch or YouTube can go to grab some safe and free tracks to use.

Great services like Epidemic Sound, SoundStripe, and music via StreamLabs Prime are all fantastic ways for Streamers to get access to non-DMCA songs, but we wanted to make a list that focuses on completely free resources, and such, these are our recommendations. 

My best tip for sourcing non-DMCA or DMCA music for free is to ensure you get your music from a source that also provides a written contract or licence. There are so many music artists giving away their music for free, which is fantastic of them and brilliant, but in this new copyright controlled digital age, word of mouth is no longer good enough. Pick artists that also provide a written contract that state you can use the music. 

music for videos on youtube download

Best Sources of Free and Safe to Use Music

Louise Byrne Music

A big factor involved when trying to get hold of music (or downloading basically anything for that matter) that doesn’t land you with a copyright strike or get your account suspended is security. That’s why louisebyrnemusic.com is a really simple and more importantly, secure way to get hold of tunes for your media needs.

LBM has a wide assortment of background music (BGM) for a host of creative projects that you may be undertaking, whether it’s a thumping techno beat for your next Call of Duty montage or chilled lo-fi medley to accompany your daily streams. And, LBM has worked with and supplied BGM for big name companies like Discovery Channel/Science, MTV, NBC Sports, The History Channel and VISA, so you know you’re dealing with a quality and verified service.

While some sites can seem like a bit cold with a lack of any point of contact and merely serve as a hosting platform for all the media they distribute, LBM has various emails you can use to get an answer to your query and speak to a real person, provides all the media/scenarios that their license covers, the terms for using their products, and offers unique music to those that sign up for their subscriber program.

You can download music directly from LBM with a written licence to create your own playlist or you can stream LBM music via Spotify through the artist StreamertraxLBM is providing a great service to content creators for free, and as a thank you, you can always buy her a coffee

royalty free music for free

YouTube Channels

The almost infinite supply of content on the World’s most popular video site also has a slew of videos and even complete Channels dedicated to uploading copyright free music and work from unsigned and/or underground artists to provide material for people to use in their video game streams, as well as things like their own YouTube videos, podcasts, etc. 

A really good place for this is the Channel “Audio Library – Music for Content Creators”, that (as you may have guessed from the name) is a Channel that’s dedicated to finding and sourcing music for other content creators to use. They also have a huge collection on their site that covers a diverse range of genres like Dance, Hip-Hop, and Pop, and even more niche genres Classical and Holiday. 

A common thing you’ll find for most of these Channels who provide an outlet for the artists that make music for this purpose is providing a link back to their site where the process for viewing genres, listening to previews, downloading the files, etc. is a lot easier than getting the music from YouTube itself.

Other Channels that are great resources for copyright free tracks are NoCopyrightSounds, RFM – Royalty Free Music, and Vlog No Copyright Music. Be sure to check the About page on each Channel as there are usually some basic rules to follow when using the audio like getting confirmation from the site, artist, or simply providing credit to the artist.

Although this is a good source of free music, we are focusing on safe to use music that will not be subject to future DMCA notices. Again, linking back to my top tip – to be 100% safe from copyright strikes, only use a music source that can provide you with a contract that tells you in writing that you have permission that the music is safe to use. 

Ask yourself – if I have to prove to YouTube or Twitch that I have the right to use this music in a years time, how will I do it?  A lot of these “non-copyright music” suppliers are just content farms and may have disappeared!

stream music

Monstercat

Another great source for your copyright-free musical needs is the site and independent label, Monstercat

While they’re mostly known for their release of Marshmello’s “Alone” and the April Fool’s Day song “Crab Rave”, Monstercat also offer a subscription service that provides DMCA-free music that content creators can use on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming streams. This service (Monstercat Gold) costs $5 a month and allows you to download thousands of tracks, and comes with perks specific to other avenues of the site, like discounts in their store, being able to check out certain content early and access to their Gold-only Discord.

We did mention that these resources would be free, and while $5 a month is an affordable price for some people, putting down any more money after purchasing various streaming tools like new monitors and graphics cards may not be something people are able to do, but there is a caveat to using Monstercat.

If you use any Monster music on Channels and/or videos which are not monetised, you don’t have to pay for their Gold subscription plan. While it’s not ideal, some people won’t find this to be an issue. If you monetise your videos and use any Monstercat music without a subscription, your videos can be claimed (which is different from a strike) and all ad revenue on that video will go to Monstercat and the associated artist.

All of the terms for their music and licensing are explained on their site here.

background music depiction

Pretzel Rocks

One of the most popular options for Streamers is the service Pretzel Rocks, which functions slightly differently to the other aforementioned sites in that it’s not a royalty-free library, but rather a built-in streaming service.

PR is sort of like a DMCA safe radio app. When you’re ready to kick off your stream, you simply start up the Pretzel Rocks app (or optionally you can play music from a browser) and let it serenade your stream.

It’s clear a lot of thought has been put into not just the issue of avoiding copyright infringements with Pretzel Rocks, but also with regards to the added features it gives to streamers to optimise the service like a Chat Bot to announce the song and artist, the ability to set hotkeys for quick control, filters to remove tracks that might be inappropriate if you have a family or kid-friendly stream, and custom overlays to display track information.

Another great aspect of using PR is that you’ll save tons on storage as you don’t have to download and keep file after file on your local drive, and the music is constantly updated by the lovely guys and gals on the Pretzel Rocks team.

PR offers all its services for free, and there is also a premium version for $15 a month (and a 30 day free trial) that comes with bonus features like a premium Discord role, and 70% of this payment goes towards supporting all the artists that feature their tracks on the service. All in all, PR is definitely worth looking into if you’re a Streamer.

video game code

Spotify

Much like it’s video brethren YouTube, Spotify is another bountiful place to find a plethora of different types of tracks and search for new free sources of music. 

By simply searching “Royalty free” on Spotify you’ll come across specific royalty-free artist accounts in genres like EDM, House, Electronic, Acoustic, Salsa, Rap, the list goes on and on. There’s also a huge range of playlists and albums that other people have put together for specific moods and themes, like Horror, Christmas, and Gaming.

Remember – we are focusing on finding free sources of DMCA safe and copyright strike free music, so before selecting a playlist you will need to check that it is safe to use.

To do this, ensure you check the playlist and artist and ensure the track is listed as royalty free and safe to stream. Next, only select artists on Spotify that give links and have an external websites with licence information on how you can use the music, for example Streamertrax or BassRebels.

Simply streaming music from Spotify without this research is a fast track to a DMCA violation and copyright strike.

Streamertrax is featured as an artist on Spotify, however if you navigate to the streamertrax website, you can download a written licence that gives you written permission, proving you have the right to stream their music.

stream music

In Summary:

The world of streaming and using music in streams is rapidly evolving and the DMCA copyright act has stoked the fires of music copyright dramatically in 2020.

Although we are currently in uncertain waters and it make take some time for Twitch and other streaming platforms such as YouTube to find a path that protects their streamers, music providers and themselves all at once, in the meantime it is important for content creator to take as many cautious steps as possible to ensure the music they use is non-DMCA or DMCA safe.

At the time of writing, new services such as “Soundtrack for Twitch” are being developed and is currently in beta mode. If you are on Twitch you will be able to get access to free music that is officially DMCA cleared by Twitch themselves.

Otherwise, when looking for free and non-DMCA music or DMCA safe music, it is best to use music artists that will provide you with a written contract explicitly stating that you are allowed to use the music. This will give you something to fall back on if the DMCA copyright police come knocking. ☺️

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as a guide only for educational and informational purposes. It is not legal advice. The content contained in this article is not legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific matter or matters.

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