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Policy for Music Usage


It is very important that through the usage of stock footage, stock photography or music that Pepperdine University does not infringe on any copyrights.  Music usage, especially on YouTube, does have some "grey area". For that reason, we require that ALL videos use licensed music or music that has written release for usage.  Music ripped from CDs or purchased online (iTunes,, etc.) should not be used unless we have full permission from the artist, writer, publisher, and label.


Licensing Information


We recommend purchasing the usage rights (license) to Royalty-Free "Stock" music.  Royalty-Free music is not free.  It just means that it does not provide a per-play-royalty to the artist, instead it is a license that you pay once up front.  We recommend you read through the license before purchase as there are various types of licenses and great care must be paid that you are purchasing the correct license and understand how the license can be used in the future.  Some licenses are single-use and only cover a single project while others can be used by the licensee for life on multiple projects. Another detail to look for are term limits. Some sites license music for only 1 year, so unless you plan on renewing each year we recommend avoiding these licenses. 

The Digital Media team will provide assistance if you need help understanding the license you are purchasing.


Where to Buy Stock Music?


There are numerous stock music sites that sell music for licensed use.  Here are some suggested sites that we use regularly. (multi-use license) (multi-use license) (single-use license) (single-use license)


Creative Commons?


While it isn't the easiest to find and navigate the various types of creative commons licenses, there are some budding artists that allow usage of their music for free, as long as they receive credit or "attribution". These rights can be found under "creative commons" on various sites.  The quality varies greatly and care does need to be spent in making sure you are using the song legally as intended.  

To learn more about creative commons please visit and

We strongly recommend just using CC BY (Attribution) and CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial). Please avoid any other creative commons license. 

YouTube offers free music to use in videos.


Music for Academic Use


Some believe that because we are an educational institution that we are exempt from copyright laws, unfortunately this is a misconception.  There are organizations that will provide music for classroom-based projects, presentations, or student films for free. Once that work is used for broadcast or promotional purposes of any kind we are breaking the copyrights of that music. 

Here is a sample license detail: "This license is for in-classroom use ONLY. TEACHERS - you may grant the right for your students to use this material provided that it is part of their school work or project. You may also use this material for LIVE presentations at school or on-campus. Any other use of our music OUTSIDE the classroom requires that you obtain a license (this includes use on the internet, use of our music at events, school concerts/fundraisers."

Here are two sites that students can use for their academic projects.