Licensing Help

How do I purchase a sample clearance licence?

Fill out our licensing form here –

What is copyright?

Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. Free Vocals have a publishing agreement with the vocalists and composers and is either the owner or Licensor of the vocal recordings and sound recordings available to download from this website. We own and control the copyright.

There are two separate components of any recording of a musical work: the composition copyright and the sound recording copyright. In most cases, our vocalists and composers have both composed and performed the vocal recordings and sound recordings. They are both the author and performer.

Musical Composition:
The musical composition consists of the written music including any accompanying words. The author of a musical composition is the composer and/or the lyricist. A musical composition can be in the form of sheet music, lyrics sheet or in a sound recording.

Sound Recording:
The sound recording results from combining a series of sounds into a medium that can be played back. The author of a sound recording is the performer(s) whose performance is fixed, the record producer/engineer who processes the sounds and arranges them in the final recording, or both. Copyright in a sound recording is not the same as copyright in the underlying musical composition.

What is commercial use?

Commercial use is anything where there is potential to make money, such as selling on stores like iTunes, Amazon, Beatport or streaming on services like Spotify. This also includes any advertising monetization such as YouTube adverts or promoting a paid product, even if our sound recordings aren’t sold as part of the product. Purchase a sample clearance licence BEFORE you release your track –

What is non-profit or educational use?

Non-profit use does not generate any royalties or revenue. For example, if you upload your track to Soundcloud to showcase your work, or upload it to YouTube (without advertising monetization) this is considered non-profit use. You can send a composition or derivative work incorporating our Sound Recordings (but not the isolated Sound Recordings) to Record Labels to see if they are interested in commercially releasing your track. If the label is interested in a commercial release, you or the record label must apply for a licence before it is released.
Educational use is where private individuals use our vocal recordings to learn and practice music production and no royalties or revenue are generated by this activity. With either of these uses, MUST be credited in the description when the track is uploaded (e.g. “Acapella downloaded from“) or you can include a link to the acapella that you downloaded from our website. You must not feature our artists name in a non-profit, non-monetized track title or description. We will only consider feature requests on certain commercial releases.

Can I get an exclusive licence?

Our downloads are provided on a non-exclusive basis. This means that anyone can download and licence the Sound Recordings for commercial use.

Which licence applies to my downloads?

You can check which licence applies to your download(s) here

Why do I need permission to feature a vocalists name?

You must not feature our artists name in a non-profit, non-monetized track title or description. We will only consider feature requests on certain commercial releases.

There are a number of reasons that featuring is restricted:

> Restrictions with current releases
> Issues with the quality of the production
> Track contains explicit, religious or political content

You can request permission to feature a vocalists name in your track title here

What does non-exclusive mean?

Non-exclusive means that anyone can download and licence the sound recordings, subject to our terms and conditions. The sound recordings are not removed from the website after they have been downloaded or licensed.

What is an ISRC?

ISRC (International Standard Recording Codes) are assigned by distributors and record labels to uniquely identify sound recordings. If you release a track independently through a distributor they will assign the ISRC code shortly after you upload the track then the code will appear in your dashboard. If a record label releases a track they will assign an ISRC code which you can ask them to confirm.

What does EULA mean?

EULA stands for End User Licence Agreement. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions and restrictions that you (the end user) agree to when you download the sound recordings from our website.

What is a Music Publisher?

A music publisher (or publishing company) is responsible for ensuring that songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially. Through an agreement called a publishing contract, a songwriter or composer “assigns” the copyright of their composition to a publishing company. In return, the company licenses compositions, helps monitor where compositions are used, collects royalties and distributes them to the composers. They also secure commissions for music and promote existing compositions to recording artists, film and television. Composition copyright is separate from Master recording copyright.
Master recording copyright is typically owned by a record label or record company.

What is a Record Label/Company?

A record label or record company is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. They coordinate the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing and promotion of sound recordings and music videos; conduct talent scouting and development of new artists (“artists and repertoire” or “A&R”); and maintain contracts with recording artists and their managers.

What is Content ID?

YouTube Content ID is one of the digital fingerprinting systems that we use to monitor our copyright content and identify unauthorised commercial use of our Sound Recordings. You may receive automated copyright claims against videos incorporating our Free Download or Members Download Sound Recordings uploaded to YouTube. These are not copyright strikes and it is nothing to worry about, your videos will not be removed.

Why can’t I use the same title as the vocal recording on my new recording?

You must choose a unique track title for your new recording that is completely different to the vocal recording title. To avoid any conflicts with existing releases we do not allow duplicate track titles. Try and choose a title that doesn’t contain any words from the vocal recording title. Our licensing team will advise if your choice of title has already been used when you apply for sample clearance.

Why did I received a claim/block on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram? What can I do?

Nobody is allowed to add their remix of our sound recordings to YouTube Content ID or to services that block uploading the audio to social media. It’s against our terms and conditions. Our sound recordings are provided on a non-exclusive basis so uploading a remix to Content ID also goes against YouTube’s conditions. Youtube states you must own exclusive rights to all sounds to use Content ID. If you do receive a claim or block when you upload your remix, it may be because someone added their remix of our vocals to one of these services (YouTube Content ID, Audible Magic etc). They are not allowed to do this. If you have purchased a licence from us to use our vocals for commercial use, then you may upload your remix to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and you should not receive claims or blocks. Please email and provide details of the claim. This includes the name of the remix that contains our vocals, the name of the distributor/aggregator and the name of the label/artist. Then we can investigate for you.