The Legal Stuff: What you can and can't use in your video

by Michaela Walsh on 15 December 2015

Music, graphics, brand assets - what can you use in your video?What-you-can-and-cant-use-in-your-video---E45A4A

Oh Oh... legal stuff. It can be a bit daunting, and when you're creating a video there are a few legal bits and pieces you need to be aware of regarding music, images and brand assets.

 But, don't fret our animator, Andy, is here to give you a run down of some of the most important things to be aware of...


Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Andy from Wyzowl, today I'm going to talk to you about what you can and can't legally use in your video production. So let's get started...


Music and Sound Effects

Music is a great way to set the tone for your video, now you might have just the song in mind, but you'll probably have to think again if it's the latest chart topper by Taylor Swift or Kanye West.

You can only use music and sound effects you have permission to use. So sure you can call up Kanye's record label but even if they take your call, which is unlikely, they're probably going to charge thousands of dollars for you to license that music, and that's being optimistic.

Using music without permission leaves you at risk of even bigger bills, and potentially a trip to the court room. It's much easier, quicker, and less expensive to use royalty free music and sound effects from a website like This way you can make one small payment and can use that music in your video, royalty free for life, regardless of how many people watch it.

Alternatively, for a slightly higher fee, you can have custom made tracks for your video or you can license a track through a specialist music license agency. Ok, it's still not going to be the latest chart topper but it will be something a little more exclusive for your video.


Graphics and Photography

Graphics and photography work basically in the same way as music. Imagine if you took a beautiful photo and then saw it pop up on someone else's website, or video, without your permission, you'd probably be furious and with good reason.

Whenever you snap a photo or create any art work you become the copyright owner, and you're in charge of how it's used. So when making your video you need to respect the rights of other artists to the work they created. In short you should only use images and graphics in your video that you've created yourself, or have permission to use.

Looking for assets? Creative Commons is a good place to start if you're on a budget. You'll thousands of visual elements that are free to use as long as you link back to the original source. Or you can buy affordable royalty free illustrations and photos through sites like Shuttestock and iStockphoto.


Brand Assets

A company's brand is a huge part of its identity and there are generally strict rules governing how brands can be used.

We're sometimes asked to include competitor logos in videos and to be quite blunt it's a really bad idea. A logo is one of any businesses most prized items of intellectual property and using it to falsely suggest a partnership between your two brands, or to paint the other brand in a negative light is going to land you in a whole world of trouble! Our general advice is steer clear of showing other company logos in your video, except where it's expressly allowed. For example the App store logos or social icons at the end of your video.

There are a lot of intricate rules around what you can and can't use in your video. If you're still unsure or have any questions please get in touch.


Video Marketing

Michaela Walsh

Written by Michaela Walsh

Hey! Michaela here, a copywriter for Wyzowl, I hope you enjoyed the blog. Apart from my love of writing, I enjoy a good book, a great film and the occasional trip to the theatre. I also love all the cheese!