100% of osu!'s content (generally known as "beatmaps" or game levels) is user uploaded. Although we try to guide users to correctly obtain permission, there are often cases of uploaded music/artwork without correctly obtaining permission.
osu! has never been about profit – we go out of our way to not advertise or profit directly from uploaded content (as to not exploit such uploaded content), but we understand that this is often not considered enough.
To do our best to support the artists that make this game what it is, any excess funds coming from user donations are reinvested in music licensing efforts. We are in the ongoing process of reaching out to artists (featured in existing user uploads and new alike) to obtain licensing and spread awareness under our Featured Artist program.
Artists interested in joining the Featured Artist program are encouraged to contact osu! for licensing negotiations.
Being a rhythm game, each of osu!'s user-submitted levels are synchronized to the rhythm of a song.
Users can search for and download levels from the beatmap listing by inputting a song's artist, title, or other relevant information. Most level downloads include a song, user-created level data, a background image, and gameplay sound effects.
When submitting levels, creators are encouraged to receive permission for all assets from relevant copyright holders as per our Content Usage Guidelines.
Music licensed by osu! is freely available for download from the Featured Artist listing in
.osz files, which are beatmap templates. A one-minute automatically generated preview of each track is available for streaming on its artist's page. Because songs are used as a catalog for community members to create beatmaps, some of them may not be immediately used as in-game content.
We look to cover usage within the game, related website and video content. Note that this does not necessarily cover further usage on other platforms in cases where profit is involved. Some artists may request profit share in such cases (where the platform allows for it, e.g. user uploads to YouTube).
osu! licenses all music under non-exclusive terms, allowing simultaneous licensing with other platforms (it is our belief that we should not be limiting good music to only our platform). We generally prefer to negotiate licences on perpetual terms due to the nature of usage (users expect their creations to stay available indefinitely). Payment is provided as a fixed negotiable once-off royalty.
If you are interested in negotiating licensing of your work within osu!, please contact us using the email address above with samples of your work. We will decide if your music is a good fit for osu! and elaborate on the terms of the licence.