Music license question for indie game


I’m sorry if my questions have been asked before. I searched the forum, but I did not find anything.

I am working on my first game, and I would like to buy a few songs here. Though I’m a bit confused about the licensing. I’m not expecting to sell more than 10,000 copies, so it seems the “Music Standard” license is what I need.

But can I then use that same music in my trailer(s)?
And can people who play my game stream it / make youtube videos with the music enabled?

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Asked this very question earlier.
In the same boat.

Hi @pobdoq!

Using the game music under a Standard License in a trailer or other cut-down version should be fine - see the “What is a single application” part of the AudioJungle Licence FAQ here.

What are allowed variations of a single application?

In addition to a series, allowed variations of an end product that are still considered a single application include:

  • Translations - the same end product simply translated into a different language (e.g. alternate text or alternate voiceover)
  • Cut-downs - a shortened version of an end product where no new content has been added (e.g. a 15 second “teaser” version of a film trailer)
  • Tag changes - minor revisions to text or content (e.g. changing “Coming Soon” to “Now Showing”)

In the example of players streaming their gameplay (or recording it for YouTube) with the game music playing, I’m not sure how those players could be covered for use of the track. If you open a support ticket here, our Customer Success team should be able to help you with that - I’m not familiar with that particular situation.

Those gameplay videos form third parties would not be covered by your original license, as these would be different end-products from the game itself. The game players would not have a license covering their own use. Technically, they would have to get their own license.

I disagree. The “trailer/cutdown” policy applies to a shorter version of a longer original video. Here we are talking about a game on one hand, and a promotional video on the other hand. Two distinct products of different types. One is not a variation of the other. They should each require their own license.

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Hmm… I don’t mind buying a 2nd license for the trailer, but players not being able to make gameplay video’s with the music enabled is a problem.

That is up to the artist right? Maybe I should just ask the artists how they handle that.

When you license music from Envato, you are bound to the license terms. Those terms do not cover third-party derivative work. In fact, they explicitly prohibit such use, as one could see this as some form of indirect redistribution.

However, you are right, ultimately the license is a contract between the buyer and the author, and you could theoretically work something out with them.

But, practically it’s not that easy. Most music is protected and registered with ContentID. Which means they generate a copyright claim when uploaded on YouTube. This copyright claim requires a license to be cleared. As players do not have said license, they won’t be able to lift the claim.

I’m guessing most games even/especially major ones have the same issue, don’t they?

I got a customer with the same problem.

He has purchased a license for an indie game in 2019, and at that time I did not have content ID. I have recently registered all my work with “identifyy” because some one had fraudulently registered some of my work and claiming them as their own “Grrrr”.

I got things settle out and everything is ok now and I can clear every one who has purchased a license. But now he told me that all other people streaming his game are getting copyright claims.

I feel bad for this guy because I had told him in 2019, all my music was free from content ID but circumstance changed that now.

Is there some other type of license that can clear videos like that?
Does the players who stream or upload videos of Call of Duty get copyright claims from the music?

In my opinion the only option they would have is that the game players who stream the game on YouTube or other platforms should be notified to shut the music off before uploading or streaming because they might get a copyright notice.

Anyways, I’d like to know your thoughts.

So this is how I understand it:

  1. Gameplay is a kind of a new audio-video end product. So it needs sync license for music AND for using game.
  2. For game developers it is obvious that they need gamplay creators so it is unwritten rule that gameplay creators can use their game and music. Even though in theory they would need a license.
  3. Although it is hard to track via CID an interactive game animation, it is very easy to track stock music. This is why gameplays get automatic CID claims even though composers do not want to claim them. We use CID for other purposes and gameplays are kind of a side effect. It is a common problem in whole industry (e.g. GTA).
  4. The only solution is to get written permission from a license holder. Which is usually impossible.
  5. On AudioJungle and Elements license should include permission for use music in gameplays of clients’ games and apps as long as it is a recorded gameplay with music directly synced with game (e.g. use of music as an audio only background for game vlog intro should not be allowed). Without this we can not function as a professional stock for game developers.
  6. It is complicated because AJ is the license seller but usually authors are responsible for chasing copyright infringements, not AJ. Even more, authors can’t expand their licenses. @AllenGrey you can show this post in the author support and ask them if they allow you to expand the license for your client’s clients. Note that gameplay creators would need to get the written permission to show it in CID, so your developer should have a copy of it. I think it can’t be done automatically, it is a system problem of whole CID. Updating the AJ/EE license would make it significally less annoying for game developers.

OK Thanks. I have open a support ticket on this subject, I will post the info here when I get an answer.