Using Audiojungle tracks for research purposes

Hi there,

My name is Ryan Gibson. I am a postgraduate researcher at the University of Huddersfield, in the UK.

I’m currently looking for royalty-free music that I can use in my research project. I cannot see anything in the FAQ that explicitly covers this.

In brief, the study will involve a number of singers being recorded singing in a variety of different ways/styles over a number of different backing tracks. This will involve the production of some lyrics that cover various features of regional pronunciation (it is a study of the effect of linguistic accent in music), and the lyrics will more than likely be designed by myself. This won’t be a full song - in all likelihood just a verse/chorus. I’m aiming for 20 second tracks, ideally.

The problem I see is where the FAQ says:

"Can I use an AJ track in a stand-alone music track? What about sound effects?
You may not use music in stand-alone music tracks, but you could use sound effects in a music track.

Example: You can’t add lyrics to an audio track and sell it on iTunes"

I think the key here is what ‘stand-alone music track’ means here, and what is implied by the example.

The tracks will only be available for those associated with the research - my direct supervisor, along with a number of participants (the singers and a number of participants who will be listening and providing feedback). It’s not practical to produce this live, so recordings will have to be made.

I’m not creating a commercial product, and certainly will not be selling anything on iTunes or any other venue. The tracks will exist purely in a research context.

Would this be allowed? Let me know if you need anything clarifying to help you answer the question.

Take care.



I think in this case, not the tracks are the end product, but the research itself, so you can safely use tracks from AJ. Especially if you are not going to sell or distribute them.

Hello Ryan,

While the terms are pretty clearly prohibiting using AJ music as instrumental backings for songs, I think it’s important to keep in mind the intent of the terms. This is there so as to prevent copyright and ownership disputes.

As your case is very specific, it is not addressed. But, as the “songs” you will produce will not be publicly published on their own, in my opinion, you will not breach the terms. Also, @AdamSmith_Music makes a good point about the end product being the research and not the created “song”.

In any case, the “songs” cannot be distributed anywhere. This goes for your singers as well, should they want to showcase the song in their portfolio. Most importantly, the track cannot be registered with any fingerprinting systems, such as ContentID.


Thank you both, I appreciate the replies.

I obviously cannot ultimately control what the singers themselves do, other than remind them of their obligations in the materials I supply to them. If they were to include them in their portfolio for any reason, could this have repercussions on myself? They will be signing documents that confirm they understand the purpose of the research and what they can and cannot do with the data, so I’m asuming this covers my back from this perspective.

PurpleFog, the issue regarding distribution is exactly what I’m more or less concerned about. While this clearly is not a commercial endeavor, there is a necessary element of distribution. I have not worked out the specifics as of yet, but I am more than likely going to be opting for remote distribution of the survey/application of the study - not necessarily because of COVID-19 (I would think restrictions will be lifted by the time I’m good to go), but just because it makes practical sense and allows me to reach a wider variety of people (if necessary).

By necessity, the tracks will need to be shared (distributed) to listeners who are essentially becoming a ‘mini-audience’ for the music (albeit, temporarily) - after which they will be answering a questionnaire, or, conducting a brief semi-structured interview with me. I can obviously do this in a way that does not allow downloads of the tracks, but it’s still a form of distribution in my view - it’s just not widespread like when releasing a ‘real’ song. I am, in effect, simulating releasing a song to the world, but with a smaller sample size, then receiving feedback direct - if that makes sense.

Is this where I’m going to come into difficulties with the license? It feels like I’m not covered here, which is a shame because the tracks AJ offer are of such a high quality, they really perfect for what I want to accomplish.

Many thanks,


Hey sorry, I had replied yesterday but my flimsy connection had my answer lost in digital oblivion. So here I go again (albeit shorter).

But they are distributed as part of your research/survey, not on their own, correct?

Those listeners are not random people though, they are participants in your study. You merely provide them with the material that is necessary for the study.

If you do that indeed, then in my opinion there is nothing that can be held against you.

As long as the created “songs” are not publicly released and only exist within the context of the study, I don’t think there are any issues.


If the “watermarks” do not interfere with your research, then just download the “preview” file and research as much as you want. Although, I don’t think paying 10-20 bucks for a standard license is such a big problem for you … I think it’s not a problem. :wink:


Hi PurpleFog - that’s OK, I’ve only just been able to get back on anyway.

Thank you. Yes, they are only ‘distributed’ as part of the survey. You’ve put my mind to rest there. It’s just I didn’t want to spend time developing the research instrument only to reach a point where I’ll have to re-design large portions if copyright became an issue. It sounds like it won’t be. Thanks again.

The study has to pass an ethics review anyway, and I believe this will be covered off there. I just have to show I’m taking any potential legal/ethical issues into consideration.

And Volkovsound, yes, I’ve been low-key toying with the tracks in preview mode to see if they will ‘work’ with what I’m trying to accomplish (they do!). I might get away with the watermarks being present in the pilot study, but I need to simulate the experience of listening to a ‘real song’ as much as possible (without actually using a pre-existing real song), and the watermark would be a real distraction. I think I’ll need to buy the licences anyway, for what I’m doing (even if it is just to cover my back), but even if I didn’t, I’d want to contribute to the brilliant artists who have made this music! :slight_smile:


If your activity is non-commercial, you do not violate the composers’ copyright. If you indicate the names of composers in your presentations, you will popularize them and they will be pleased. (I have very little music in my portfolio, because I am a sound designer, but I would give you any music for research, because it is still not for sale)))

And you would thus breech your exclusivity agreement. Whether the end-project is commercial or not, it still requires a license, as per the terms.

I do not sell music - I sell sound effects (I have music that I wrote once)

And this is strictly forbidden.

BTW IMHO each song will be the end product. The research itself will be a compilation of end products.

But what about the fair use? It depends on local law but I bet it should be ok to treat it as a fair use as long you do not publish it as an end product (track) but only as a part of the research. Read about it.

I am not sure if you could publish (e.g. in the net etc.) those recordings. Maybe you could only as an excerpts maybe whole, hard to say, it may vary on your country law. Usually publishing as little as possible is ok. And the best option is not to publish fair use if possible.

You can always share music examples from the research individually via mail with top secret note instead of publishing them on the net etc.

"And this is strictly forbidden.

BTW IMHO each song will be the end product."

Hmm, I seem to be getting some mixed messages here. For me, this depends entirely on how you define ‘product’. For me, there is no product here since nothing is for sale. This is why I quoted the section in the Licence FAQ that states that you cannot add lyrics and sell it on iTunes - it does not specify you can’t add lyrics and play it to a friend (or other type of audience).

At the end of the day, that’s no problem, I will just have to use other music from other websites that do not have these restrictions. Is there a way I can find out for certain, though? Am I best off trying to get in contact with Envato directly? Some of the music here is perfect, and it would be a shame not to use it/buy it.

As an aside, fair use in the UK is very fuzzy. As per the government website:

Non-commercial research and private study

You are allowed to copy limited extracts of works when the use is non-commercial research or private study, but you must be genuinely studying (like you would if you were taking a college course). Such use is only permitted when it is ‘fair dealing’ and copying the whole work would not generally be considered fair dealing.

The purpose of this exception is to allow students and researchers to make limited copies of all types of copyright works for non-commercial research or private study. In assessing whether your use of the work is permitted or not you must assess if there is any financial impact on the copyright owner because of your use. Where the impact is not significant, the use may be acceptable.

If your use is for non-commercial research you must ensure that the work you reproduce is supported by a sufficient acknowledgement.

There are countless videos on YouTube that aren’t taken down but do seem to ride the line, using movie clips and exercpts from real songs (and they’re not paying anything to the original creators). I know some of these stay up, and some get taken down. This isn’t a risk I’m prepared to take as my entire project is riding on it being smooth sailing.

I am sure for 100% this is forbidden until it is a fair use. Playing to a friend may be a fair use depending on local law. Why it is forbidden? Because this way you change the work significally so it is a remix, not a simple use.

Where do you plan to publish / share those songs? Youtube? Only via mails? Sorry if you mentioned it before, so much to read, so little time.

The actual details of how the music will be distributed is not yet confirmed, but it will more than likely be via the survey instrument itself, via an embedded player. It would not be feasible to do this via email.

Ok and what server will you use for the video? Youtube, Vimeo or maybe other commercial, free or private like Google Drive or Mega?

I’m not at a point in which I can answer that question. The survey methods I’ve been looking at allow for audio to be uploaded directly - I’m not sure where they might host the audio.

I’m guessing you’re asking because this affects usage of AJ tracks? It is beginning to sound like this might be a no go.

I disagree here. The “songs” will have no existence on their own outside of the scope of the research. They will not be distributed nor do they have any purpose other than being tools of the research. They are not end-products but rather components of the research which is the end product that’s bigger in scope than the track itself.

As I said in a previous post, I think what’s important is the intention of the terms. Since the “songs” are neither publicly published nor distributed, I really think there is no issue here.

Of course, you can only get authors’ opinions here, you may want to ask Envato support but frankly, I doubt they’ll give you a detailed answer, other than refer you back to the terms.

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  • imho non commercial research sounds for me like a (typical?) fair use. Double check this because I am not an UK lawyer :slight_smile:
  • avoid servers which use a CID like Youtube. Their automatic claiming system is too vague to guess if they treat it as a fair use or not. If the survay allows you to uplpad a song, you can be sure it doesn’t use a CID. Only the biggest services use it.
  • use and publish as little as possible. Just do the research and it should be ok :slight_smile: IMHO

You’re best served to ask Envato directly about this in order to obtain an “official” response.

In these forums, you’ll only get opinions - some better informed than others.

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This is absolutely incorrect. The infringement of copyright occurs at the moment of appropriation, not at the moment when it is made “commercial”, or offered for sale.