Are Generic Ringtones Copyrighted?

Hey guys,

Just wondering if generic ringtones for mobile phones are copyrighted?

I assume the "standard" Nokia and Apple ones would be.

What do people generally do when they need to have someone answering a call?

Thanks in advance.
There are plenty of phone ringing sfx out there. You could buy a quality one on for a few bucks probably, or go to and grab one for free under the Creative Commons license.
If by "generic" you actually mean common, then YES! They are likely copyrighted.

However, you can record PUBLIC DOMAIN phone rings at whim.

If you don't already have an audio editor, get a hassle free one here:
Record a new recording.
Goto one of these places and record whatever you want:
- domain/

Save as a wav. file and insert into your NLE where appropriate.
It's a ringtone.
No one's gonna care unless the phone is a central character to the story.

FWIW, pretty much anything that isn't PUBLIC DOMAIN is copyrighted; audio, video, or text.

An oblique legal loophole is FAIR USE, which is pretty much only good for making a mockery of the the original or some extreme artsy fartsy application.
Think Warhol's Soup Can or of the SCARY MOVIE franchise.

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I think i have got a new site recently to make my own ringtone which includes my favorite name in it. It can mix our favorite name in our favourite song and make itas our ringtone. And the best part is its completely free.
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