Music Use

The information on this page can be found in the rules packet

The use of music in films at The CinéStudent Film Festival

Although this is a student film festival, the use of copyrighted music is strictly prohibited in any film screening at CSFF.  The use of copyrighted music, even from legally purchased downloads or compact discs, is not only ethically wrong but also against the law.  In commercial film, all music is licensed and the artists, songwriters and publishers are compensated accordingly.  In fact, the music budget of most motion pictures runs in the millions of dollars.

You can still find appropriate music for little or no money for your production.  

See the examples page for student films using appropriate music.

Here’s how:

Public Domain.  All music in the public domain can be used for free.  Currently, the Public Domain Project has thousands of recordings that you can use without cost. (*.html?free=1)

Go “Royalty Free.”  There are several websites that offer music for free as long as proper attribution is made in the credits.  Proper attribution includes acknowledging the copyright holder and the writer of the piece.  See each website below for specific requirements.

  • Audionautix (  On this site, composer and production engineer Jason Shaw has a library of music available for a free Creative Commons License 3.0.
  • Incompetech (  Kevin MacLeod has thousands of musical pieces on his site for a free Creative Commons License.  Be sure to check out the credit citation on the page if you choose to use is music.
  • Anthony Kozar (  Anthony Kozar is a composer who offers his library of music for free with proper attribution.
  • Dan-O ( Dan-O offers many tracks for free with proper attribution.  Much of his music is guitar-based.
  • Matt McFarland ( Composer Matt McFarland has about 70 instrumental pieces for a free Creative Commons license.
  • Josh Woodward (  This singer-songwriter has over 180 songs, both with vocals and without.  All for free with proper attribution.
Check out the video below for information about using music in film.

Purchased Music with License  There are many sites that offer quality music for a paid license.  Some are very cheap; others are more expensive.

The Tune Peddler (  This site offers many tracks for a low $5.00 a month price.  Music purchased can be used in any project.  Unlimited downloads during the month.  Not bad for just $5.

Jewel Beat ( Jewel Beat offers a standard license for 99¢ per track.  There are some limitations, such as the piece cannot be used outside of the United States.  However, the license offered is excellent for most purposes.  They have over 35,000 pieces of music.

Video Blocks ( Video Blocks has production music, sound effects and stock video footage.  Although it can be expensive for a subscription to the site, they offer 7 days of free downloads.  Anything downloaded in that free trial period can be used in any project.  Just make sure you cancel the subscription or your credit card will be charged!

Pond 5 (  Pond5 has all sorts of media available for download.  The music track are varied not only in style and genre, but also price.

Sound Dogs (  Sound Dogs has both music and a vast library of sound effects.  The price varies for each track, but many tracks can be found for under $20.

The Stock Music Site ( This site offers all types of music.  However, you do have to pay for it.  The prices range from $4.95 to thousands of dollars per track.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many more.  Just do a search for “Free Production Music” and you will find pages of sites that offer music for a fee.  With all of these resources, you shouldn’t have any problem finding an appropriate soundtrack for little or no money at all.

Don't forget, you can also make your own music!