Is using a song for a skate/unicycle video illegal?
If you made the song yourself or have the authors permission, no. If not, most probably, yes.
So where do people here get their music from?
OK, there are a few sites online that offer ‘royalty-free’ music, which means you can basically use it how you like (Some of them have licences that mean you can use it ‘as long as you give us some credit’) BUT To use a popular song that’s produced by a big record company, technically yes it’s illegal without permission, BUT chances are they won’t care (At most your video will either get taken off YouTube through a DMCA complaint, or you’ll be forced to have an advert on the video to make some revenue for the song’s owner), as long as you’re not making money off the video. As soon as you bring in a penny off the video, the owners of the song are entitled to royalties (which is usually £x per click, hence the advert they might stick to your video).
Different musicians offer up their tracks under different licences, there’s no blanket that covers every song on the internet If you want to cover yourself, make sure to use ‘creative commons’ music whenever possible. If you’re familiar with ‘Free’ or ‘Open-Source’ software licenses, creative commons licenses (Yeah there’s a few of them) follow a similar ethic