Live Streaming Pros | Copyrighted Music on Facebook?

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Can you use copyrighted music on Facebook?

This question originally came from Robbie Snooks. He asked:

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

Can you use copyrighted music on Facebook videos or live videos (or on YouTube)?

1) What you CAN do and CAN NOT do when it comes to copyrighted music in your videos and live videos.

2) Music library Service recommendations.
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3) Common questions I get about copyrighted music and issues you still might face!



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27 thoughts on “Copyrighted Music on Facebook?”

  1. Thank you for your candidness and professionalism in this area. As a content creator I run into educating others on this ALL THE TIME. For people who don’t create it’s really hard to get their head around it because they don’t have a frame of reference. Not their fault it’s usually comes from just not being aware or having good sound advice from an expert. Thanks again!

  2. I’m having a hard time getting a clear answer from CCLI about whether our church’s streaming license covers a performance on Facebook using an accompaniment track. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    1. Monica Woodbury

      When you can listen to a radio, which you may or may not pay for, but it’s either streaming pandora or radio waves, your not stealing music! I’m Driving through the Florida Keys playing music singing along and showing the Drive! It’s not stealing or copy right… it’s like me taking a picture of a pretty person, gorgeous surroundings in public and putting it in my profile… people listen to music… people stream live musical sessions singing other people’s music(that seems more of a copy right issue, then someone actually playing a radio with people that actually sing it! This copy right thing is going to far…. remember when people use to have get togethers with music playing off a radio! And video cameras use to just video all it… music and the people enjoying it! Ridicules! Facebook needs stop the shit… it’s your right to listen to public radio or pandora… if it’s on and people are just listening while shooting live, a million other people could be listening to that same station… you shouldn’t have to turn off radio or what ever your listening to, just to shoot a live video.. specially if you pay for the right!

  3. I would like to post a live Facebook event for my fitness class since all my clients are self isolating because of the corona virus.

    A friend said since I have music to go with the moves , Facebook will probably shut me down or mute me. This is very sad. I’m sure when I play Bon Jovi living on a prayer he won’t mind! So no way around this ?

    1. Also. I will do it live. So they can’t watch it later. It can be deleted after for all I care. I just want that hour to do my thing

      1. Unfortunately, they can, and will, actually pull your video down WHILE live if you play copyrighted music, and if this happens a few times, they can actually suspend your Facebook account. I have seen it happen, so you will just have to find new music from a site like EpidemicSound. You can get a trial and see what you can find at Hope that helps.

        1. I checked out Epidemic and none of my music is on there for classes. I get what she is trying to as I want to do the same thing however…you must not be an instructor to say just use other music. We spend days, weeks, months even doing choreo and now are stuck not being able to keep our members dancing. We NEED more then ever right now… there any other way around this copyright crap???

          1. Unfortunately there isn’t. You would have to get the exclusive rights to every song you want to use, and that is not practical, and would be quite expensive. Desperate times call for desperate measures. You COULD use other music, and re-choreograph, you just don’t want to…and I get it…it’s a lot of work, but is the only way around it. Better get started! 🙂

  4. If I pay royalties to have streaming rights to music, I should have permission to play that music on a fb live video right? Because I recently did that and it was flagged by Sony. Is there a way to dispute this and make it so I don’t have to worry about every video being muted? I am assuming I have to go directly through Sony and not facebook but boy oh boy is that annoying lol.

    1. Paying royalties does not guarantee you that you will not be flagged, as you have to be flagged by the copyright holder on EACH platform to be able to use it. It is a totally different license.

  5. Michael McLay

    I’ve started a live music review show on facebook. we only review underground artists who are not signed by any label. we have been given full permission from these said artists to review their songs and videos. Occasionally some of them will have their OWN record label they started that is tiny and unknown etc.
    Yet facebook still mutes their songs typically right after we stop streaming and sometimes during. How do i get this to stop?? Its potentially really harmful to the the page and community we are trying to build. Sometimes people cant catch the live stream and watch it later only to find half the songs are completely muted.
    How do i get this to stop?
    What steps must I take? I’m fully committed to my stream. I plan on doing this for a very long time and at a highest level possible. And I just wont be satisfied if this continues.

    1. Unfortunately I don’t have a good answer for you. Facebook and YouTube are REALLY aggressive with this stuff! If you have the option to dispute the claim/mute do that every time. Also, try reaching out to FB support and see if you can hack your way to someone with answers, but they’re very unresponsive and so I’m telling you right now, you’re going to have an uphill battle, just be ready for that, and don’t give up.

      The only other thing I can suggest is to reach out to any contacts you have in the music industry and see if they have a FB contact. This is a really tricky thing – FB tells anyone they work with directly not to hand out their contact info (they’re very private about things, understandably so)… so instead of asking for a contact, find out who has one and see if they’re willing to go to bat on your behalf and introduce you if their FB contact is willing.

      I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer for you, but hopefully that gives you a little to go off of!! Good luck!

  6. Are there any options to stream or post recorded videos of people singing along to copyrighted music, like karaoke to major hits? I want to both post both compilation videos and eventually do a live stream through a service like twitch. Please help!

    1. You just don’t want to chance it. There is a licensed karaoke game inside of twitch that you could use, but you most likely wouldn’t be able to upload them to other platforms. They’re cracking down pretty hard on this stuff as they are desperate. They being the labels.

    1. It’s ok. We stopped using them because even though we had paid, we would still get claims on our videos. Never had that happen once with Epidemic.

      1. Epidemic flags us all the time. Our biggest issue is if you dont keep epidemic for life, they will flag their music on your videos even if they were created during your subscription. We use audioblocks and artlist. Much better for the serious creator that may one day do more than just post on their personal channel.

        1. Then you must have something set up wrong. You can only use it on ONE channel once you connect. You have to get an account for every channel you want to use it on. We have been with them for several years and have never once had an issue on any of our channels or platforms.

  7. Taylor Bertrim

    I pay for google play every month, why can’t i listen to music while i game and stream, I’m not trying to make money nor am I trying to use them to get anything extra. I just want to listen to music while gaming.

    1. It’s honestly not Googles fault. It’s the greedy record labels. They are afraid they will not get $1. But if you’re streaming on any platform, you will want to look at getting some royalty free music, as that is the only way to 100% protect yourself from getting your streams taken down. But yeah, I am with you…it SUCKS!

      1. This is not what I’m understanding. Purchace music from viable licensed platforms (ie: Traxsource…and other sites) will absolutely no intent of gaining any monetary value just play music over the stream for the love of the music/craft. If I’m Djing at an outdoor event or indoor event is Sony or whoever going to come up to the DJ booth and turn off the sound system? I mean really-SMH!! As a dj we’re paying homage to the artists,producers,etc buy purchasing the music and playing for an audience for the music to be heard. I just don’t get and lets not talk about “classics”. FB will shut you down with a quickness over a track that’s 30-40yrs old…again REALLY!!!

        1. Actually, they can. If Sony so happens to be at your event and they call their reps at their main office and your name doesn’t come up in their database they can do one of two things. Come to your DJ booth and unplug you OR call the police and let them do it for them.

          When you buy music, you’re not buying THE MUSIC. You’re buying the PERMISSION to listen to it for PERSONAL enjoyment. Chances are if you’re DJing outside, it’s not for free. Money exchanged hands at some point. And Sony, regardless of how big or small the event is, wants percentages of that cut. And by law, they’re entitled to it.

        2. According to the letter of the law, yes, actually… Sony is totally within their rights to turn your DJ booth off. The likelihood of that happening is absolutely minimal. It’s kinda like speeding – you can be stopped and fined for driving 51mph in a 50mph zone, but the likelihood of that happening is really small. Basically, without a performance license you are still engaging in prohibited activity. Always worth checking to make sure the venue – indoor or outdoor – has a performance license.

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