For artists, using an instrumental created by another person in their release is often a point of confusion, as some beats have different permissions that are not always very clear.
What should I look for when selecting a beat for my track?
In order to use a beat found online (on YouTube, Beatstarz, or any other website), you must first make sure that the beat is explicitly “free for profit”. This means that the original creator of this beat has granted permission to any user to use and commercially release music that uses their beat. ONLY THEN CAN YOU RELEASE MUSIC WITHOUT DIRECT PERMISSION FROM THE OWNER!
Other times, a beat will be labeled as “free for non-profit”. This means that it’s free to download and use for yourself, however, you do not have the rights to release it commercially on any platform without the permission of the creator/owner of rights. You can check in the description of most YouTube videos to see if there is any additional clarification on the rights and where they stand. Typically, you will have to purchase a license that grants you permission to use that beat.
If the beat is labeled as “sold” or “exclusively sold”, this means that there is an exclusive license that was sold to another person, which is now the only person that can commercially use that beat. Unfortunately, that means you will not be able to use the beat, but you are welcome to find others that haven’t been sold exclusively.
How do I obtain the rights to the beat?
Oftentimes in the audio or video description, there will be a link to purchase a license to use the beat. Upon this purchase, you’ll receive rights of which may be specified in a contract, often in addition to an audio file containing higher fidelity and/or a removed audio watermark. Additionally, be sure to add the name of the beat producer to the credits field of your release.
If there is no link or statement on rights contained in the description, do not assume any beat is free to use commercially. The best thing to do here is to try to reach out to the creator/owner of rights to either obtain express permission or inquire on purchasing commercial rights.
Unfortunately, without commercial rights or explicit permission, trac legally cannot distribute your song if it contains a beat/instrumental made by somebody else.
I have obtained the rights and/or the beat is free to use commercially, how do I release my song with trac?
If your release was flagged and you do have the commercial rights to this release, be sure to upload the license agreement and/or receipt that you received upon purchase to email@example.com for further review. You can also send us a link to the original source of the beat where it indicates it is free for commercial use. In the event you did not receive a contract or receipt, please feel free to reach out to https://tracco.zendesk.com/hc/requests/new and we will work with you to ensure your submission is approved following appropriate protocol.