YouTubers, especially the partnership members, know the dilemma: Using popular music as a background makes a video so much more interesting, but as someone else usually owns the rights, all kinds of trouble may arise if you simply use a suitable mp3 file you have on your harddrive. Not being able to commercialize the video is standard in such cases, but you risk a complete shutdown of the clip and even penalties. YouTube has advanced auto detection software that is obviously very quick, and good.
So offers from professional audio suppliers are indeed very tempting. I fell for such an offer recently - during the first ever recorded usage of a chainsaw as ammo, I wanted "Hallelujah" from Händel playing gloriously in the background.
So I found this website:
See the link on www.proudmusiclibrary.com
Sounds very attractive indeed. For 53,50 Euros, "most commercial uses" are OK, and YouTube video uploads are specifically listed. The exceptions listed on the site did not apply.
I went ahead and did the deal. The song download access was swiftly granted, and I was a happy camper.
But the nasty surprise was just around the corner. YouTube did not allow me to commercialize the video, because of "third party matched content". In other words, someone else claimed to have the rights on the music.
Three different "owners" (Believe, Muyap and INgrooves) obviously prevented my video from making money for me. Just ONE such claim is enough to cause trouble.
As the money from such YouTube ads is the ONLY income I make from my channel and I need the funds for the materials I use, this is a desaster.
So I filed a dispute, as I had the perfect paperworks. Also I contacted Proudmusic.
Within a few days, the video saw many many thousands of views (about 250k so far) - all not making any money for me. Two of the three prospective "claims" were dropped over time, but the third one, "Muyap", still blocks the monetizing option of the video. This has caused damages worth several hundreds of Euros. And counting.
I wasn't happy about it, and asked the owners of ProudMusic for a refund. The loss of the ad money was far higher than the 53,50 I had paid for the music license, but I really wasn't happy with the deal and thought that giving me my money back was the least the guys could have done.
But they were reluctant. After a few harsh emails back and forth, they "generously" offered half of that money. Not even a tenth of the sum I lost because of the - from my point of view - misleading info on their website.
It turns out that they can give you a license, but can't prevent others from claiming the rights to YouTube. As YouTube can of course not be the judge in copyright fights, they simply block the monetizing option for disputed videos and leave it be. Understandable.
ProudMusic does not tell you about this BEFORE you buy a license. Of course not, as nobody would consider buying a license in the first place otherwise. So they give you the impression that all you have to do is to cough up 53,50 and you are all set. Then, after your video is online and blocked from making any money, they will explain this "legal situation" to you, in great detail. It's not that they don't KNOW about this. They just choose not to inform potential customers. This is misleading and shady, in my humble opinion.
So. Don't. Do not. Not even when it really itches. Go and buy a music license from any of the providers if you want to make some money with your YouTube video.
And spread the word.
UPDATE: Turns out they NEVER owned the rights. Someone else claimed the rights successfully after two years or so, and I was forced to take the video down.