2016 has brought a mass popularity to live streaming video on the web. In the DJ world, this has meant even more opportunities to play in front of a digital audience. However, many DJs have encountered resistance due to copyright issues. In this article, we take a closer look at how copyright law plays (or doesn’t play) a role in live streaming DJ sets on Facebook Live
DJ Streaming Legalities + Music Rights
Let’s talk real quickly about copyright and DJ sets. It’s easy to assume that because you own a song, you’re allowed to play it in a DJ set of any type. According to US copyright law, this is incorrect. There are several types of rights for music, including:
– Public Performance (transmitting or performing the work in public)
– Reproduction (copying/duplicating)
– Digital Performance (internet streaming)
When you DJ in a venue, it’s up to that venue to make sure they have a license for public performance from major rights organizations. In the United States, the most common ones are ASCAP and BMI. Having that license means that DJs can play recorded music registered with those organizations, bands can cover songs, etc.
This works the same way for radio stations – but their license is for broadcast. This means that they are authorized to play music into public airwaves.
Many streaming services do not have a clear relationship with rights organizations. When you fire up a live stream and start broadcasting the hottest tracks to the internet, this is very similar to a radio station. Theoretically, anyone can tune in and hear you playing copy written music.
This is where copyright law starts to fall behind: DJ sets are not a protected form of free speech, and they generally do not fall under “fair use”. As a result, copyright takedowns do happen on various sites. Read on to learn what we know about the current state of copyright takedowns on various streaming sites:
Facebook is largely credited with the mass distribution of streaming tools by building in Facebook Live into every account on their site. Mobile support meant that most smart phone users now have a perfectly capable streaming device in their pocket.
Is There Copyright Detection On Facebook?
Unlike other sites like YouTube and Soundcloud, Facebook for a while did not appear to have a system for detecting copy written work inside of a video. YouTube’s prominent “ContentID” allows rights-holders to aggressively look for infringing works and issue automatic takedown notices.
In the last few weeks, a few occasional notices have started popping up for users saying that their stream has been flagged for copyright automatically – which may be a slow implementation of a new copyright detection system. It doesn’t stop the stream, but may impact how the video recording can be used after it is finished.
Is Live Streaming DJ Sets On Facebook Legal?
As far as we know, Facebook Live doesn’t have any streaming audio licenses with rights organizations like BMI or ASCAP. It’s very similar to the early days of YouTube – video is a massively growing part of Facebook, so many people suspect the company is doing everything possible to not have to address the issue and potentially hamper growth.
Read More: djtechtools.com