Many DJs have spent a lot of time and effort into building their followers on Instagram so it’s no suprise that most took their talents there when it came to streaming their sets online. Unfortunately for the DJs, playing music that belongs to someone else is against the copyright infringement policies that Instagram (owned by Facebook) has in place. Algorithms are programmed to shut down streams that are using unauthorized music and this has created a headache for DJs.

A big problem was the consistency at which streams were taken down. “What song did I play to get taken down?” “Did I play too much of the song?” Are questions that DJs simply wanted an answer too. Instagram answered many of these questions in their latest Updates and Guidelines for Including Music in Videos. Some of the key points are quoted below:

“…While the specifics of our licensing agreements are confidential, today we’re sharing some general guidelines to help you plan your videos better:

  • There are no limits on things like music in Stories, or traditional musical performances (e.g. filming a live artist or band performing).
  • 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”).
  • For that reason, 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”

Even on the Verzuz live streams with hundreds of thousands of faithful viewers, the artists performing their own songs are asked to limit them to a 90 second clip or less. This doesn’t seem like a battle music creatives will win. More DJs have been directing their fan base to Twitch and Youtube for their live streamed sets. Although both also have similar guidelines, they (currently) don’t seem to crack down as hard as Instagram and Facebook. Right now the only fully legal solution is Mixcloud, yet another platform to send your fans to. Until the record labels loosen the reigns, it may be a tough ride for DJs for a while. In the meantime, what is your Twitch? Drop it in the comments and we will be sure to check you out when we can!

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