A fresh set of guidelines regarding music copyrights by Facebook and its implications

Recently, Facebook issued a fresh set of guidelines to avoid the music copyright infringement issue on Facebook and Instagram Live video streaming sessions. It is also adding an indicator on both the platforms to prevent this issue.

Lately, and especially amid the coronavirus pandemic lockdown and incessant usage of tech apps, it has been noticed that many people are making videos and doing live video streams while using music without giving due credits. Now, this has raised a question mark and has become a point of concern from music publishers, as this also borders to copyright infringement of all this music.

Many musicians are upset about the potential misuse of their music in the content that random people are creating over Facebook and Instagram live sessions, as well as on musical apps like TikTok.

Facebook is all about encouraging musical expression, but they also want to uphold their agreements with the rights holders, and it is understandable because these agreements are solely there to protect the rights of the original creators, songwriters, and music artists.

Although Facebook established certain guidelines of agreements with music publishers two years ago. But seeing the recent increasing trend of usage of music in videos and the way some “wannabe DJs” hold live video streaming concerts in these times of lockdown and social distancing, Facebook had to revise and re-establish some ground rules again.


The four rules for permissible music use that apply to both Facebook and Instagram are as follows:

1. If your video contains a great number of full-length recorded tracks, there will be more limitations like the stream may get interrupted, or parts of your video will be muted, or the entire video may be deleted.

2. No limits on music in Stories or traditional musical performances like filming a live artist or band performing.

3. Short clips of music are recommended to be used in your videos or other content.

4. The video must always have a visual component to it, while recorded audio must not be the primary purpose of a video.

These are some general copyright rules with a little tweak here and there, but the point where there is no limit of music on Stories is a little unclear. A little more strictness and clarity were expected about the extent to which music can be used in not only Stories but any content. Especially when they are giving a free pass to record live music performances too. Many a time, these live artists are not given their due credits, and Facebook’s new and apparently re-established guidelines do not add anything for their advantage again!

So, whether these guidelines serve their purpose or not, it is yet to see. However, for the time being, some of these rules make sense, but the others are surprisingly unclear.



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