Video-sharing platforms have become integral to a user's online experience. This is true both for the consumer and for the artist. It allows many to connect through the sharing of creative ideas and exploration. Vimeo has been at the forefront of video-sharing platforms thanks to its commitment to high-quality content with protecting intellectual property rights.

But the platform has grown, hosting millions of videos among many different genres. As creativity continues to grow with its users, many have wondered what Vimeo’s role is in hosting videos that have copyrighted music.

Let’s find out.

Does Vimeo Block Copyrighted Music?

Vimeo takes copyright laws seriously and blocks or regulates content that may infringe on another artist’s rights. They follow the Digital Millennium Copyright Act very closely. We will break this down.

Understanding copyright law and copyright infringement is important not only from the perspective of violating it but also in case you need to report someone else for using your creation. Copyright laws protect artists legally in a variety of artistic genres. This includes music, art, literature, films, software, and more.

Original work done by creators is protected from being used without permission by anyone else but it goes far beyond that. That is because the law recognizes the time and effort put into the creation by the artist. Owning the right to their own work so someone else can’t take it is like owning a house that you invested in.

That idea of copyright law gives creators control on how to license and distribute their work for financial opportunities. Royalties are also a big part of this legal framework. Because of this, creators and musicians can hand over copyright or specific authorization use of their music to third parties for financial gain.

Let’s bring this back to where Vimeo plays a role in copyright regulation.

The Importance of Music for Video Creators on Vimeo

It’s without a doubt that music resonates with different works of art. You like a song that has a good beat and it goes perfectly with the visual you have created. It elicits extra emotion whether it be happy, sad, joyful, or fearful. Music completes the video for a lot of artists. So, what can you do?

Understanding how Vimeo works to handle the wrongful use of copyrighted music is key. The Vimeo Content ID system can detect videos that infringe on third-party rights when that video contains unauthorized use of music. Individuals can also report a video that uses unauthorized music to Vimeo. In this case, Vimeo may block the video, take it down altogether, or use a number of restrictions, like muting the audio.

The video-sharing platform follows the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) strictly. Because of this, for repeat offenders, Vimeo will terminate the creator's account. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use music. There are a few avenues artists can use to bring extra creative elements to their video content.

  1. Artists can get authorization from the person who currently owns the copyright to the music they wish to use. This can be a difficult route if you don’t have the connections or the finances. Typically, artists who are just starting out don’t go this route.
  2. If you are a musician, creating your own music and copyrighting it for your use only is always an effective way to avoid getting your videos blocked by Vimeo.
  3. Using a music licensing service, like Track Club, can be a fantastic way for creators to license copyrighted music for their videos. While there are royalty-free and copyright-free music platforms, they often offer low-quality music that lacks originality. With Track Club, creators have access to a meticulously curated, small-batch music library with high-quality tracks that are fully customizable.

The important factor here is to not use someone else's music without obtaining the right permission to use it.

The Vimeo Content ID System is how Vimeo manages all the content that is uploaded. They're often referred to as "copyfight filters", as they uses a series of algorithms to analyze the audio, metadata, and visuals, among other factors, to detect potential copyright issues.

If there is a batch or the entire video is matched with unauthorized use, Content ID will take a number of actions. We mentioned muting or blocking the video, but sometimes, Vimeo will also place an ad over that section of the video or material to give appropriate monetization back to the owner of the content.

The person who uses unauthorized music will get a notice along with the details of the copyright owner. They will also be given evidence of their unauthorized use so they know which part of the video or the entire video is wrongfully using copyrighted work. Vimeo will also always give notice to the copyright owners of the music. This can lead to bigger consequences.

The Consequences of Using Copyrighted Music on Vimeo without Permission

Risking an offense is not always as simple as Vimeo blocking content. Along with potentially having a banned account, there can be other consequences artists need to be aware of.

Aside from taking down the content, copyright owners can go through the DMCA to take legal action in certain situations. This includes seeking any damages they may have been caused by the infringement party. They also may seek compensation for any money they would be entitled to based on the popularity of the video, among a number of other factors.

The Potential Impact on Video Creators and Their Channels

After video creators have broken the rules, their account is likely to be flagged. By using copyrighted music, content creators may find it difficult to build up their pages and channels. It’s also possible, depending on the specific circumstance, that content creators can be blocked altogether.

Furthermore, it can damage their reputation going forward. Being able to work with other artists is critical for success. Sometimes major publishing companies or a record label will own rights to the material of many popular musicians' work. Risking your reputation with an artist can lead to risking your reputation with multiple.

Getting Started On The Right Chord

As an artist, knowing your rights to individual work as well as respecting others’ creations, is key to success. Using Vimeo is a great platform for growing your brand and igniting inspiration. But violating its strict policy on copyright outlined by the DMCA is a quick way to learn the consequences.

Sometimes Vimeo will immediately ban an account depending on the circumstances. Further, the copyright owner can take their own separate legal action after Vimeo notifies them. No need to take the risk when trying to make viral hits. Track Club has a solution for you.

Start out the right way with proper licensing of copyrighted music to build your career as an artist. Check out Track Club’s pricing page to find your next beat.