Facebook copyright music may be a problem for some artists looking to do Facebook Live, reels, posts, and videos.
The existing relationship between artists, music publishers, content publishers, and the management at Facebook has not proven to be favorable to both unsigned and signed artists struggling to publish their work on the platform.
Musical artists start an artist/band page on Facebook with the best of intentions and follow all the rules. Even so, they can have their entire artist/band page yanked down in a matter of seconds by putting up a cover song.
What Is Happening With The Facebook Copyright Music?
These last few years, there has been a growing problem on Facebook of music being pulled down off the site due to copyright infringement notifications.
The most extreme cases has seen users of the site having their cover songs yanked down for ‘breaking copyright restrictions’.
Many emerging artists and performers have complained that this is infringing upon their creativity. In return, they are being hit with major copyright notices and threats of Facebook closing their account should they continue to violate.
Despite this, companies such as Universal Music Publishing Group have continued to pull down cover versions of songs as well as other artists’ works due to their assumption of infringement.
Posting Cover Songs On Facebook Can Get A Musical Artist Noticed
How many contemporary musical artists have gained publicity initially through covering someone else’s song?
Think about it. Nearly every modern act, including a lot of the biggest names in music right now, have published cover versions of songs, helping to generate clicks, likes, and shares for themselves. Some emerging artists have gained popularity with large bodies of work built in part, or entirely, off of cover songs.
Facebook’s aggressive removal of such content is a major issue not only to these artists but others as well.
Why Is Facebook Taking Down Copyrighted Music?
The main reason that Facebook copyright music takedowns happen is because Facebook does not pay any sort of advertising revenues to rights-owners of music consumed on its platform. It has no way to pay artists.
Compare this to platforms like Spotify or Vevo on YouTube where there are licensing agreements in place with music publishing groups, allowing artists and rights-holders to collect revenues attached to videos using borrowed cover songs.
If an artist is not able to build their social media profile on Facebook through the use of covers, this cuts down on a major marketing initiative that has proven to be successful for so many artists. It is increasingly vital that agreements come in place between Facebook and music publishers, or else artists are going to be encouraged to go elsewhere.
In fact, they already have. While musical artists are well-advised to have a presence on Facebook, the majority of their engagement and interactions are happening on other platforms. TikTok, Instagram, and even Twitter are well-known for their artist-to-fan engagement. Facebook does not carry the same fun, excitement, and credibility in music.
What Can You Do And Not Do With Copyrighted Music On Facebook?
Can you live stream copyrighted music on Facebook?
No, streaming copyrighted music is not allowed.
Is there any guarantee my cover song won’t be removed on Facebook?
No, any cover song you are singing may be removed or muted and assigned a copyright infringement notice.
Can I post a video on Facebook with copyrighted music?
If you own the rights to the music you wish to post, you can technically do it. As in, if it’s your own music and you’re the rights-holder in full. That said, if it’s copyrighted music, any video using it is likely to be muted under the assumption that the copyrights owner has not been notified. Even if you do have permission to use it, Facebook may not know that and, in turn, treat it as a violation.
Where can I post cover songs, DJ sets, and more online?
If you’re a DJ using samples or a musical artist playing a cover song, you can still post to other social platforms that have better licensing. YouTube may be the best example as once a musical work is published, technically, anyone can record a cover version of it with a license. Cover songs are posted every day to YouTube. Most of which are never taken down unless a copyright holder complains. This is relatively rare. In the case of a DJ, looking at Mixcloud may be option as well.
What Should A Musician Do Facing Facebook Copyright Music?
What should you do as an independent musical artist building a brand and creating a music page on Facebook?
No one wants to see their Facebook account temporarily suspended or banned. A full-on ban would mean all hard work and money invested into a page is essentially gone. For any artist who puts up a cover song and it gets taken down, don’t invest time in continuing to put them up. Let it go. The risks are too high to attempt to repeat the strategy.
However, what you can do is pivot the same brand-building video-based strategy to YouTube where it is safe to put up music and where you won’t get the same hassle. YouTube copyright music works in a much different way because they are able to pay and credit the artists and rights-holders.
Also, always continue to cross-promote between platforms. This way, you aren’t relying exclusively on Facebook or anywhere for audience.
As a hub for content and certain demographics, Facebook can be used for many amazing things. As they continue to roll out the video aspect of their platform, perhaps there will come the opportunity to pursue more video-based brand building for musicians who want to perform cover things.
There’s no harm in trying it but be aware that issues may present. In the meantime, there is plenty more you can use Facebook for. You can continue to use Facebook to get in touch with fans, promote shows, and connect with your people. That’s the way.