I get this question asked all the time. “So can we use our first dance song on our video? We love Ed Sheeran and would really like it on there. ”
I love Ed Sheeran as well. He has some awesome songs that I would love to add to the couple’s video. Unfortunately, getting the license to use it is quite difficult…. and near impossible. Popular songs are typically against the law to use based on copyright laws. We can’t afford to be sued for using someone else’s work.
Artists (including photographers, videographers, musicians, painters, sculptors, etc) are protected under Copyright law. So we can create “artwork” that we don’t want stolen and used by others with out compensation.
Imagine you create this beautiful piece of artwork and you put it on facebook for all to see and then someone on the other side of the world, takes your photo and then claims it to be their own and shares with others, and/or sells it to another person to use on their corporate brochure. How would that make you feel? Same thing applies to music, photos and video. We are creators and want to be compensated for it.
So how do I get music for your video?
The answer is quite simple. I pay for them. I have a few websites that I purchase a license to use this music for your video. Sometimes, we get lucky and can license popular songs (ie. Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years), but for the most part they are different from the main stream.
So how do some people on YouTube get away with it?
You may notice that some creators use main stream music on their videos. Whether it be a lyric video, or someone singing to their own interpretation of it. YouTube has a function that senses that music and then figures out the copyright owner and commissions the license holder the advertising costs gained from the video. The YouTuber gets nothing for it. Most of the time these videos are put up there for fun. The ones who are commissioned use licensed music, so they can be compensated.
But I have seen other wedding videographers use popular song titles?
If you are doing your research, and you love a videographer’s work, because he is able to use that Ed Sheeran song, then run away. If you see a videographer using a popular song in their videos, then they don’t understand copyright law. In this case, you want to find someone else. They will be found out at some point and could possibly be sued and shut down.
Hopefully this helped and gives you an understanding of why that Ed Sheeran song can’t be played.