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Cover songs you can post to YouTube that won't get you banned

I made a mention of this on my Facebook page but wanted to put it here along with some extra info.

The entire reason almost nobody posts cover songs to YouTube anymore is because they don't want their channels taken down for copyright infringement.

Some people just aren't good at writing songs, so they choose to play cover songs instead, and that's fine. But what do you do if you want to post songs to YouTube that are "legal?"

There are 3 possible ways to do this.

1. Use songs that are public domain

The best site I've found for this is PublicDomain4U. Many songs exist there and all are 100% public domain, meaning you can record your own versions or even play along to them as backing tracks for YouTube use.

2. Use old regional folk songs

"Regional" means a song that belongs to a specific part of the word, such as Irish folk songs, Native American folk songs and things of that sort.

Tread with caution when using old folk songs. The best thing to do is find an old folk song, research it and see if it is in fact public domain or not. If you find it is, search it on YouTube to see if others have posted covers of the song. If they have, you should be able to post it to YouTube without worry of it being pulled.

3. Use religious hymns

Most hymns are public domain, so you can use these however you like, but the same rule applies to using these as you would old folk songs. Check to see if anyone famous recorded it, check to see if others have posted it to YouTube, and if everything looks okay, go for it.

Remember to give credit

You technically don't have to give credit for posting a cover of a public domain song, but you should anyway.

For example, if you post a public domain song that someone on YouTube recognizes, their first reaction will be to post a nasty comment that you "stole" the song. Well, you didn't steal anything because the song is public domain.

To avoid this crapola, give credit to the original author in the video title and video description, else you will get nasty comments from people that don't understand that public domain songs can be covered by anyone and that it is 100% OK to do so.


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