Can You Use Copyrighted Music On Youtube Without Monetization

As a content creator on YouTube, one of the common questions that I often come across is whether it is possible to use copyrighted music on YouTube without monetization. It’s a valid concern, as using copyrighted material without proper authorization can lead to potential legal issues and copyright strikes on your channel. In this article, I will delve into this topic and provide some insights on what you need to know about using copyrighted music on YouTube without monetization.

Understanding copyright laws on YouTube

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s first understand the basics of copyright laws on YouTube. Copyright is a legal right that grants creators exclusive control over their original works, including music, videos, images, and more. When a piece of content is copyrighted, using it without permission from the copyright holder can infringe on their rights.

YouTube takes copyright infringement seriously and has implemented content ID technology to detect copyrighted material in videos uploaded to the platform. If your video contains copyrighted music, the copyright owner may choose to monetize your video by placing ads on it or block it altogether.

Can you use copyrighted music without monetization?

The short answer is, technically, yes, you can use copyrighted music on YouTube without monetization. When you upload a video that includes copyrighted music to YouTube, you have the option to leave the video unmonetized. This means that you will not earn revenue from ads placed on your video, and any potential revenue will go to the copyright holder.

However, it’s important to note that even if you choose not to monetize your video, it doesn’t exempt you from copyright infringement. By using copyrighted music without permission, you are still infringing on the rights of the copyright holder. They have the right to take legal action against you, which may result in your video being taken down or your channel receiving a copyright strike.

Fair use and creative commons licenses

While using copyrighted music without monetization is generally not recommended, there are some exceptions where the use of copyrighted material may be considered fair use. Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows for limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. However, determining fair use can be complex and is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Another option to legally use music on YouTube is through creative commons licenses. Creative commons licenses grant permission for the use of copyrighted works under specific conditions outlined by the creator. There are different types of creative commons licenses, some of which may allow for commercial use or modifications, while others may have restrictions.


Using copyrighted music on YouTube without monetization can be a risky endeavor. While it is technically possible to do so, it is essential to understand the potential consequences and legal implications. To avoid copyright issues, it is always best to use royalty-free music or music that you have obtained proper authorization for.

As a content creator, it is important to respect the rights of copyright holders and be aware of the potential consequences of copyright infringement. By doing so, you can continue to create and share content on YouTube without running into legal troubles.