Can I get Copyright permission to play a well-known song on Youtube‪?

The simple answer is yes, provided you have the appropriate permissions. To play recorded music in public, copyright permission is needed from the copyright holders.

Music license

A music licence gives you copyright permission. For more information and to obtain the relevant licence, visit the Phonographic Performance Ltd website

Using tracks on Youtube

Applying for an entire track to be used on Youtube would be a more complicated process. I started by searching Youtube for any golden nuggets of information which might point me in the right direction. Here I found a useful video uploaded The clip led me to some sites which contain the four main publishers and useful information on copyright permission.

SYNC licensing

By doing a simple search in the licensing section and choosing the SYNC licensing option, you can obtain the publisher. You’re looking for the publisher and not the artist, I found the track on the Then it’s just a case of emailing the publisher and asking their permission.

Useful information to include when asking for permission:

  • Name of artist
  • Name of song
  • The song timing (How much of the song?)
  • Nature of use
  • Is this an original or cover?
  • For-profit or non-profit

Final considerations

When applying for a Sync licence, it is also worth asking if the track needs to be cleared by any other publishers. Many bands use more than one publisher for worldwide distribution, and it’s worth bearing this in mind. When I spoke with BMG, they were accommodating and quick to respond. They informed me that multiple licences were required and gave me a list of publishers to contact.

Don’t forget to include a special thanks when you upload the track to Youtube.

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