Facebook Clarifies New Rules On Music Livestreams

As the pandemic has forced music venues to close their doors, many musicians and DJs have turned to offering online streamed performances However, Facebook has announced that from 1 October, users of the social media site will no longer be permitted to host ‘music listening experiences’ on the platform.

The new rules have caused some confusion causing the social media giant to clarify the rules on live-streaming music ahead of them coming into force next month, reports Ministry of Sound.

Facebook’s Music Guidelines state that users may not use videos on the company’s social media products, which includes Instagram and Whatsapp, to create a music listening experience.

“We want you to be able to enjoy videos posted by family and friends. However, if you use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience for yourself or for others, your videos will be blocked and your page, profile or group may be deleted. This includes Live,” the new rules state.

It originally appeared that music creators could potentially be penalised for uploading their own music natively to Facebook, forcing the company to offer a clarification on the new rules.

Facebook continues to say it wants to encourage musical expression on their platforms, but it needs to uphold agreements with rights holders, that protect the artists, songwriters, and partners in the music community. The company added that they were grateful for how the community has been creative and proactive during the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” the rules say.

It went on further to explain that while the firm’s licensing agreements are confidential, they wanted to offer some general guidelines to assist with the planning of videos. Music in stories and traditional live music performances (e.g., filming an artist or band performing live) are permitted.

They added: “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.”

They then confirmed that the guidelines are consistent across live and recorded video and on both Facebook and Instagram, no matter the type of account – i.e. pages, profiles, verified and unverified accounts.

It also reminded users that while creators do use their social media products to launch and promote their music on over 90 countries, there may be regions where it is not yet available, and will not be able to be used in those locations.

Last weekend, a spokesperson for Facebook also confirmed to NME that although new guidelines will come into effect across the site in October, the music guidelines have been in place for some time and will not affect artists using the site to livestream gigs or share their music.

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