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Falcom Makes Its Music Free

Publisher of Ys and Legend of Heroes unveils liberal fair use policy.


Falcom's games are known for their memorable soundtracks. You'd think they'd be fiercely protective of their music copyrights.

Apparently not. The company recently posted a notice titled "Falcom Music Free Declaration" to its corporate site. According to this statement, anyone is free to use Falcom's music without prior permission for such things as television shows, commercials, and concert performances. This can be done without any payment to Falcom.

Specific examples of free use for the company's music include:

  • Personal videos
  • Graduation videos for schools
  • BGM for news, documentaries and variety shows -- professional or amateur
  • BGM for commercials
  • BGM for radio programs
  • BGM and jingles for free or paid television
  • BGM for websites or blogs
  • Live concert performances -- professional or amateur
  • Music at public facilities -- schools, parks, ect.
  • Music at theaters, arcades, and amusement parks
  • Store background music for restaurants, convenience stores, etc.

There are some exceptions to the above. In the case of websites, you can't allow people to download the music. In the case of concert performances, if selling content that includes the music, you need to acquire permission first.

Additionally, the music cannot be used in games (free or paid) or as part of paid download services. And, of course, you can't produce a CD of the company's music for sale.

Notice at the Falcom website.

All Falcom asks is that you include the following copyright in your video, pamphlet or on your website as the case may be:

  • "楽曲名/アルバム名/Copyright© Nihon Falcom Corporation"

The goal of this liberal use policy is to allow people to enjoy Falcom's music. The company says that, as of June, it has 3,453 pieces of music for sale.

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