Facebook clarifies rules for live-streamed DJ sets from October 1st

Facebook has clarified its rules around DJ sets on their platforms – including Instagram – after it was widely reported the social media service was making it harder for DJs to stream from October 1st. In an email to DJ Mag, Facebook clarified that their terms of service will not be changing from October 1st and re-issued some guidelines they initially released in May 2020, specifically for DJs and music makers streaming on their platforms. The statement, re-iterating a post made on their blog in May 2020 claims: 

Our partnerships with rights holders have brought people together around music on our platforms. As part of our licensing agreements, there are limitations around the amount of recorded music that can be included in Live broadcasts or videos. While the specifics of our licensing agreements are confidential, today we’re sharing some general guidelines to help you plan your videos better:

    • Music in stories and traditional live music performances (e.g., filming an artist or band performing live) are permitted.
    • The greater the number of full-length recorded tracks in a video, the more likely it may be limited (more below on what we mean by “limited”).
    • Shorter clips of music are recommended.
    • There should always be a visual component to your video; recorded audio should not be the primary purpose of the video.

These guidelines are consistent across live and recorded video on both Facebook and Instagram, and for all types of accounts — i.e. pages, profiles, verified and unverified accounts. And although music is launched on our platforms in more than 90 countries, there are places where it is not yet available. So if your video includes recorded music, it may not be available for use in those locations.

As is often the case with licensing, it’s slightly vague and the exact details are ‘confidential’ but Facebook insists they’re not limiting how recorded music is used on their platform from October 1st. The blog post ends with a fairly vague commitment to continue to work with music partners to “increase people’s ability to express themselves through our products.”

While there’s no timeline, Facebook Gaming – the recently-launched videogame streaming arm of Facebook – only recently announced partnered streamers can use licensed music on your streams for free, assuming the music isn’t the forefront topic of the stream – i.e. the videogame and your voice are more prominent. So something is happening behind the scenes, but who knows how long it will be before licenses are agreed so that copyrighted music can be broadcast without any issues on Facebook, if it ever happens. For now, as it provides zero takedowns and artists royalty payments, Mixcloud Live is still the best bet.

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