I admit when I looked into using royalty free music for my movie I was a little confused. I thought royalty free music was totally free. The more I studied up on it the more I began to understand that it is and it isn’t in a way.
One way to ensure the music for your movie soundtrack is royalty free is to create it in-house. There are more and more independent filmmakers that score their own movies using programs like Apple’s GarageBand that allows users to create their own original music. This removes any chance of your movie being hit with copyright infringement over music because this is your own original music you’ve created.
If you’re a person that doesn’t feel you have a single musical bone in your body to work with a program to create your own music there are filmmaker friendly websites that allow you to download free original music to use in your movie. Sonnyboo.com is one of these cool sites.
As of the writing of this post all that Sonnyboo.com requires is that a filmmaker credits the songwriter and the music used. That is not asking too much in return for being able to use royalty free music. I did not end up using the free downloads, but I respect filmmaker Peter John Ross for providing music downloads gratis to other filmmakers.