Copyrighted Music on Facebook?

Luria Petrucci 05.09.2016 50 comments

Can you use copyrighted music on Facebook Video? That’s today’s Q&A!

Today’s Question

Today’s question comes from Robbie Snooks. He asks:

Does facebook have any issues with using copyright music? The reason I’m asking is because when I’m streaming an event with youtube and if youtube hears even ambient copyright music coming from in-house speakers we often get cut off. It can be really annoying and frustrating.

Yes! Yes it can be, Robbie.

Using Copyrighted Music on Facebook

The short answer is no. You will get flagged and your video taken down.

The longer answer is this.

Facebook has had a lot of issues with people stealing content and so they’ve really hit it hard lately in terms of privacy. So their bots have gotten more aggressive and will take your videos down if they detect any copyrighted music.

You CAN dispute it if you feel you have the right to use it, or have permission. But it will come down while the dispute is happening.

The best thing to do is not use copyrighted music. Or use songs you license from Audio Jungle or Audio Blocks.

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50 thoughts on “Copyrighted Music on Facebook?

    • Yes. Especially Facebook live. They will remove your ability to go live. I’d look into whether that includes live cover bands, but I’ve seen them pulled before. Hope that helps.

  1. I have seen some people go live on Facebook with music in the background not being an issue. As an example some of my Facebook friends go live from concerts. I work for a school district and we are trying to go live from football games and the background music stops our broadcast.

    • Yeah, I can’t say that everything triggers it. For example, if you’re talking over the music loud enough, or not leaving a lot of pauses so there are chunks of music alone, then it can be fine but not guaranteed. The concerts – LIVE music often doesn’t trigger the takedown because it’s different enough from the copyrighted version. Especially if they’re cover bands or indie.

  2. Well it is stated that a work loses copyright protection and becomes part of the “public domain.” Works that have fallen into the public domain are freely available for anyone to use.
    The public domain exists because a central purpose of copyright law is to encourage people to make creative works, so the law gives a copyright owner certain rights, but only for a limited time i do get this but i used to stream on facebook with music going in the background on youtube guess what i got banned from being able to stream anymore on facebook 🙂 how pathetic that is ? Bye bye facebook you ruined me and my community also!

      • I may be a little foggy on this, but I don’t encourage the streaming/recording of music in church because we don’t have a license to do so. Copyright is a crazy world.

  3. You say “You CAN dispute it if you feel you have the right to use it, or have permission.” We are part of a baseball league and they have licensed use of the music to play at the games. When live streaming the games, occasionally it picks up the music in the background and they have deleted the videos. I don’t see why we’d have to license it twice because we just happen to pick it up in the background while we’re broadcasting. So, how do we dispute with Facebook?

  4. Hi folks, my question relates to cover songs. I often broadcast live on FB, playing (on piano) many of my own compositions. Yet, often also, I play a cover of someone else’s song. On the Youtube Live feature, it’s easy. A claim is made, I enable monetization, and shared royalties are sorted. How would one do this on FB? I obviously have no issue getting the royalties to the relevant artists, but, I have no idea how this is done via FB.

    • If the cover is close enough to the original, it may trigger the takedown. They definitely don’t have as easy of a process like YouTube. You are given the opportunity with instructions on how to respond. But in order to avoid the constant issues, the labels need to whitelist you which is hard. If your cover is different enough, it may not even trigger the takedown. I’m sure they’ll be coming out with better workflows, but right now, you have to test to see what your music will do… :/

  5. I’ve seen some users on Facebook go live and the live video’s caption will say something along the lines of “I don’t own the copyright to the music playing”. Does that make a difference? Can FaceBook auto detect the music and if so will it ignore the takedown of the caption states that you don’t own the music? Or is this a useless thing to mention?

    • You shouldn’t have any issues with Livestream platform, but you should never play copyrighted music without permission anyway. 🙂

  6. What if I produce the music myself? It’s sounds like no one else music. It’s mine. Would that trigger the “bots” as it were?

  7. Hey,

    Im an artist and I have music playing in the background as I paint… The music is usually coming from Spotify (which I pay for) I have started doing painting as a performance then performance and video and now video as streaming live to facebook, will I get flagged?

    Also… If I do get flagged can I still download the streamed content? then perhaps remove the sound and re-up? Because I am using a action cam and it doesnt allow me to stream and record at the same time… so I would loose that footage(currently downloading the footage after finishing streaming for my records)

    • You will indeed get flagged playing music from Spotify. You need to get royalty free music. This is the site I personally use, as it has really cool music: https://artlist.io/David-11081

      You have to be very careful, because they will suspend your account if you do this more than once. I have seen it happen. If you get flagged, sometimes that is all you will get, and if it is flagged, you cannot access the video in question, because they actually take it down from some platforms.

  8. first of all my name is Darnell Clark and I was playing music in my background while I was on live and I paid for the music I was playing Facebook let me put it on my page but then they took it off soon after and that doesn’t even happen if it was a problem it wouldn’t let me put it on my page in the first place and I’m complying what iTunes I’ll see you videos all the time with music playing in the background how many of them actually pay for theirs and I don’t see how anyone could steal lyrics from a artist while playing music OnLive if you ask me if they make a song it make a video along with it and then turn around and sell it what’s the same lyrics in it then I can see their point and even then artist are going to say some words and their music that’s similar to someone else’s because they follow trends and what’s hot now and popular artist going to say words that involve a person place or thing and other artists might say something similar or mention the same person place or thing there’s millions of artists in the world not feel like it’s so many words a artist is bound to say at least one or two maybe three words that’s in another artists music so I’ll what I would like to happen it’s for my video to be returned to me on my FB profile simply because I paid for that music and I own everything in my in my place Sincerely mr. Clark

    • When you say you “paid” for the music, and you mention iTunes, are you saying you are buying a song in Apple Music, and then playing that on your videos? Because buying a song in iTunes is not even close to the same as buying a license to play that song. We use music from a site called EpidemicSound. It is royalty free, and we are paying a monthly fee to license that music on our channels. So you technically do not OWN the music you’re buying. You are only paying for the right to play it on your phone. Or in your car etc. You are paying to listen to it…not broadcast it online etc. Hope that helps!

  9. I’m curious about playing Pandora in the background? Someone said that if you used a paid subscription platform you wouldn’t be flagged?

    • Wrong kind of subscription platform. 🙂 Pandora will definitely get you kicked. What they were referring to is something like Artlist.io or something where you pay a license to use copyrighted music. While that works on YouTube pretty well, Facebook is much more trigger happy and will often kick your stream off for that. They don’t have a system like YT does where you can dispute or claim that you paid for the music. Not worth risking.

  10. What if I’m using 1 min. part of a copyrighted music of 4 mins. in background for the video that has been shot by me ?
    I got a notification saying it contains content that would infringe copyright. And also there was an option to ingnore and post it anyway. Should I chose that option, is it allowed?
    I’m from India.

    • You can’t use ANY part of it – FB will remove you. I wouldn’t risk posting copyrighted info because your account can be suspended.

  11. This just doesn’t make any sense. We have music playing in the background of a “live” video. Music that is available to everyone and anyone at any time of the day. It’s there for sound, not any other reason while we sell a product. I’m talking like pearls, jewelry.. things 10’s of thousands do. There’s got to be a way for the every day joe/jane blow to be able to have random music playing just for ambience. I’d be willing to pay a 5/10 dollar fee a month x’s millions that would do this.. just so my “live” sale videos aren’t so silent. Me personally I just have my tv on Sirius (which I already pay for) There’s got to be a way for Facebook as big as it is can fix this. Not by banning videos and giving strikes etc.

    • You have to go through a whitelisting process, and they’re very very tight lipped about how to do so. Best suggestion is to go through the actual company you pay royalties to.

  12. Planning to Facebook Live a high school music festival. Bands playing charts that were purchased. Any thoughts

    • Purchased songs from a site like Epidemic Sound should work fine, but otherwise, you’ll run into issues.

      • I produced a short home video with the theme song from 2001 Space Odyssey movie, Which the copyright expired on years ago and is now public domain. Facebook muted the audio.because the bots recognized it. Am I wrong to assume this was ok to post and claim.I had the right to use it?

        • Honestly, I wouldn’t risk any potentially questionable music on FB because they don’t have a claims process like YouTube does.

        • Copyright not only covers the composition (and in the US there is a bizarre way to figure how long the copyright lasts, and relatives/companies who bought the rights can continue to renew it) — but also performances have their own copyright. So even if the composition is in the public domain, if the New York Philharmonic made the recording of the music — then that performance is (almost certainly) copyrighted also — so you would be in violation of the copyright for the performance/recording. Now — if you played that music yourself, where the composition is in the public domain, and you did not file for copyright of your performance — then you would be fine! Easy, right? 🙂

    • You can try… that’s honestly all I can say about that. It depends on if their system is updated to see that expiration, etc. :/

    • Unfortunately, it does not. You would have to contact each license holder for each song you use. There is no blanket approval.

  13. Our church has a license to stream music from a list of copyrighted material from one of the agencies in that business. Does that help, and, if so, how can we be proactive

  14. Now facebook is bying licenses for music, to be played,
    is that mean it’s gonna open the door again for djs to stream live.
    i would like to pay for license to play live from facebook stream,
    but no way to reach the right person,
    i have many mnay vinyls i like to share live with people,

  15. Our track starts off races with the “Star Spangled Banner”. Will that get the boot? Epidemic Sound- I use the “Youtube” license. Will I get booted from FB?

    • Now, to be clear – your video will be removed, you won’t be booted off FB for a first time offense, but if you continue, you could.

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