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Copyright for the song used for portfolio video

Active Member
Kirill T Member Since: Jun 5, 2020
1 of 3

Hello, tell me, please, is it possible to add a video with a song without copyright in the portfolio? I shot and edited the video, but used a song for which I have no copyright. I want to upload this video to my portfolio to demonstrate my experience.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 3

This is an interesting question.


Is it possible to add a video with a song running in the background? A song that you don't actually own the copyright to, or have permission to use?


The answer is uniquivocally "YES."

It IS physically possible to do that.


There is absolutely nothing whatsoever within Upwork's software or source code or operational policies that would present you from physically doing this.


Here is another question:
Does Upwork allow this?


The answer is no.

Upwork officially asks that people follow laws and regulations that apply to them.

Nowhere will you find anything on Upwork's website that say you can do something like this. And if you look closely, you WILL find language in Upwork's legal section that states that Upwork respects intellectual property rights, and asks that its users do the same.


Question: What happens if you do this?
Answer: Probably nothing.


Question: Could something bad happen to me if I do this?
Answer: Yes.


Anytime you violate somebody else's copyright, they probably won't go after you, but they COULD go after you.


Question: Does this happen ALL THE TIME on major websites such as YouTube and Facebook?
Answer: Yes.


Question: If something happens a lot, does that mean that it is legal?

Answer: No.


Question: If a lot of people do something, does that make it okay to do?

Answer: No.


Perhaps this is the most important question:
Question: SHOULD I do this?

Answer: No.


Setting aside the fact that this would violate Upwork policy and that there is a possibility that you could get in trouble with either Upwork or the copyright holder, it's not the right thing to do.


I'll be honest with you, I don't make videos, and I definitely don't make videos with music backgrounds. So you're getting advice from somebody who has "no skin in the game."


If you were making a video that you were sending to your friends and family, with that song, you would still be violating copyright laws... If you were my friend and you sent me that video, would I be bothered by it? No. Would I think about the copyright implications? No. Would I turn you in to anybody? No. Does the fact that you're not making money off of the video mean that you haven't broken copyright laws? No.


But this isn't just a video you are sending to some friends. You're posting in a professional freelance work platform, and you're using it to represent who you are as a professional. Not just any professional, but a professional video editor.


So for that reason, even if you're willing to accept the risks, I think you shouldn't do it.

Active Member
Kirill T Member Since: Jun 5, 2020
3 of 3

thank you very much for the answer