If you have spent even the tiniest amount of time surfing YouTube, you’ve heard his music. You’ve probably also heard it on TV, in movies… his IMDb page is ridiculously long! He has over eleven hundred pieces of music on his website, Incompetech.com available to use under Creative Commons license.
Basically, MacLeod has for some time created the soundtrack of YouTube. Back in 2007, the early days of YouTube, Viacom sued YouTube for copyright infringement. Actually, the lawsuit was initiated over clips of Sponge Bob and The Family Guy, but music got caught in the dragnet along with a bunch of other content (aside from the stuff that Viacomm was secretly uploading to YouTube themselves, but that’s another story). That same year, Universal sued YouTube user Stephanie Lenz over her use of a Prince song in a video. Twenty seconds of the song played on a stereo in the background, and heavily overwhelmed by other noise.
People started freaking out about their own videos possibly getting taken down, or worse yet, more lawsuits. The solution was to find music that they could use without worrying about all that crap and that’s where Kevin MacLeod and Incompetech come in. He already had hundreds of Creative Commons licensed compositions ready to use on his website for free. If there was another site like it, it seems nobody noticed.
Sure, some people made videos using the audio files that came with their copy of iMovie, but those get old really quickly and frankly MacLeod’s music is better. Looking for rock? Blues? Electronic music? Classical? He’s got it. African? Polka? Ska? Yep. Oh, and it’s all organized in such a fashion that you can search by mood and genre, and when the results are displayed, so is information such as the tempo and which instruments were used.
MacLeod has also started another side for sharing music, called FreePD.com, which contains music completely free of copyright. The “PD” stands for “public domain”. The songs listed on FreePD.com can be downloaded individually or you can get the whole catalog of 444 songs in one ZIP file for a $14 fee.
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