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Facebook cracks down on unlicensed livestreaming

Facebook is introducing new terms of service from October which will prevent artists using video to “create a music listening experience”

By IQ on 10 Sep 2020

Artists will not be able to livestream on Facebook or Instagram without licenses

Artists will not be able to livestream on Facebook or Instagram without licenses

image © Pixbay/facundowin

Facebook is cracking down on livestreamed shows that include recorded music with new terms of service, preventing artists from using the platform for “commercial or non-personal” purposes, unless they have obtained the relevant licences.

The updated music guidelines state that users “may not use videos on our products [which include Instagram] to create a music listening experience […] This includes [Facebook] Live,” and stipulates that such content should be posted for the enjoyment of friends and family only.

The terms also say that any videos not adhering to the guidelines will be blocked and the offending page, profile or group may be deleted. The updated guidelines will come into effect from 1 October.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the music industry has seen a boom in livestreamed concerts which, in turn, has raised questions about copyright infringement issues around the use of recorded music.

Recently, Gregor Pryor of law firm Reed Smith told IQ how artists can effectively – and legally – engage and monetise the online format.

“Considering the rules and regulations involved will be essential to prevent any platform-imposed penalties”

Pryor recommends that artists check each platform’s terms and conditions and monetisation policies, and remember that they are responsible for all rights and clearances necessary to perform their music.

“Considering the rules and regulations involved and, where applicable, seeking advice to ensure compliance with these, will be essential to prevent any regulator- or platform-imposed penalties affecting the artist’s ability to livestream,” he says.

Elsewhere, IQ spoke to some of the pioneers who are establishing live streaming as a crucial new outlet for creativity and, potentially, a lasting revenue stream for artists and their teams. Read the first part of the series, which includes LiveFrom, Streamyard and Wookey Technologies’ Sansar, here.

The livestreaming boom has also seen major music streaming services jump on the bandwagon. Recently, Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal has spent US$7 million on tokens issued by the company behind Sensorium Galaxy, a new VR “social metaspace” in which users can attend alternative-world concerts, nightclubs and festivals through a VR headset.

While, Spotify is developing a feature that will alert fans to an artist’s upcoming virtual events, according to a tweet by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong.


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