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What Does “Royalty-Free” Mean?

in Articles on June 15, 2016

What Does “Royalty-Free” Mean?

There is often a lot of confusion about what “royalty-free” means. Here’s some information to clear up any confusion you may have.

What’s the deal with royalty-free?

What does royalty-free mean? Here’s a great description:

Royalty-free, or RF, refers to the right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold, or some time period of use or sales.

via Wikipedia

Royalty-Free does not mean “FREE”

This is a common misconception. Just because something is labeled “royalty-free” does not mean it is free to take and use. The word “free” in “royalty-free” refers to the fact that it is free of paying royalties. A similar example would be something that is labeled “sugar-free”. Just because the word “free” is in a sugar-free product at the store doesn’t mean that you can walk out and not pay!

Royalty-Free And Copyright

“Royalty-free” and “copyright-free” are two completely different things. Something that is labeled “royalty-free” may still have a copyright on it. This means that the creator OWNS the music, but is allowing others to use it without needing to pay royalties or ongoing fees. This is the case for music on this site. The composer owns the copyright, but customers who have purchased the tracks may use the music in their projects without paying any royalties.

Where can I use this royalty-free music?

You can use it just about anywhere! If you purchase the track legitimately on this site (or via another official vendor), we are granting you a royalty-free license to use the music and make money with it. That means films, video games, podcasts, radio shows, television, youtube videos,  and much more.

So how is that different from regular music?

Well, first of all, you can’t just use any old music you find on your hard drive. Similarly, you can’t use images you find on Google Image searches. Chances are, that content is copyrighted and is not royalty-free. That means that you would owe royalties ($$$$) to the copyright holder if you made money using the content. If you use royalty-free content, however, you are only responsible for the original fee to purchase it. If you go on to make an amazing indie film that grosses millions, you won’t owe us a penny. That’s part of the deal!

Is there anything I can’t do with the royalty-free music?

Yes – you can’t distribute the track to others to use. They would need to purchase the track here, just like you did!

Note: Some sites only allow for a single use of a royalty-free work or other restrictions. This is a completely valid restriction that they are allowed to enforce. Currently we do not have such a restriction on our music. If you pay to download the track, you can use it in as many projects as you’d like! Just don’t sell or give away the source file, please.

Do I need to credit the composer?

You don’t need to, but it is greatly appreciated!

If possible, please link back to our website and credit the composer as such: “Chris Collins –

Enough, take me to the music!

Browse the royalty-free library


Create a Custom Bundle!

If you’d like to make your own custom bundle, please add over $60 of individual tracks to your cart and use the discount code CUSTOMBUNDLE during checkout for 20% off. This coupon code does not apply to other bundles/albums.

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