MUSIC IS SOMEONE'S ART
Just like someone's sculpture or painting, music is also owned by the artist. So, if someone "allows" you to pick any song for your wedding videos, then what they are doing is actually illegal.
Here is an example: Let's say you wanted a song from a well known artist like Coldplay or Keith Urban to be the background music for your wedding video. If I purchased the song on iTunes, then I do own the song, but that does not allow me to use the artist's work for commercial gain. I would have to contact the record label directly to secure the licensing to use that song. The cost of licensing a song from a well known artist can cost thousands and thousands of dollars.
SO WHY DO OTHER WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHERS ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN?
The answer is simple: commercial gain. And money. It makes your image as a professional wedding videographer look better if you allow the bride and groom to choose their own music. That is a fact. But it doesn't change the fact that what they are doing is illegal. Obtaining the rights to use a particular song from a well known artist can be a fairly lengthy process and the cost for most is too much to bear.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO FOR MUSIC?
I license all my wedding music through a website called "The Music Bed". The Music Bed takes care of all the licensing with the record labels on their end. So, when I'm ready to create a great wedding video, I hop on their website and search through their massive catalog of songs until I find just the right one. I purchase the license for that song which then allows me to use that song for your wedding video.
The good news is that I have had people request specific songs and those songs happen to be on The Music Bed for licensing!
DO WE HAVE TO KEEP PAYING FOR THE LICENSE?
No. That is another great thing about The Music Bed is that once you purchase a license to a song, it is yours forever.
HAVE YOU EVER CREATED A VIDEO WITHOUT LICENSING THE MUSIC?
Yes... When I first started shooting, I created a lot of videos for my church. I had no idea that music licensing was a thing. It wasn't until years later when I went online to watch some of those original videos that I realized that the audio had been removed because of Copyright infringement. This could happen to your wedding video.
YouTube now has the ability to "FLAG" your video if it feels as if the video has copyrighted music attached to it. You then have to prove that you obtained the licensing necessary for them to add the audio back to the video.
ANY LAST THOUGHTS?
I think it's important that all artist's work is appreciated. Since I started shooting professionally, I have licensed every single song in every video I have shot. This is important to me because I want to be fair to the music artist. Without their music, my wedding videos wouldn't be nearly as exciting.