Music is that essential element of a video that sets the entire mood for it. It helps evoke emotions of excitement, sadness, or positivity even if it's just a simple piece of music playing in the background.
Facebook is one of the biggest and best platforms to promote your content (no doubt about that). And they also encourage their users to express themselves with the help of music in their videos.
We're aware of how music can help make even plain boring videos a whole lot better. But sometimes you don't get the freedom to use any piece of music that you like. Well, simply because it's someone else's result of hard work. So getting a license would be the more civil thing to do.
Again, getting a music license isn't a piece of cake. But there are so many other options that you can choose from to use the right music for your videos, with the best option being - Copyright-free music.
There are various instances to look out for where Facebook can remove your videos due to a violation of copyright law. Even if you didn't intend to do it, you should make sure that you don't go against Facebook's policies and that your content is authentic.
Here's a checklist suggested by Facebook that you can use before uploading a video.
- Did I create all the content in my video including music by myself?
- Do I have permission to use all of the music included in my post?
- Does my use of the music content fall within an exception to copyright infringement?
If your video checks off all these requirements, then you're good to go!
Further down, we'll give you insights about how you can post music without copyright and also look at places to find copyright-free music. Before that here's a simple definition of what copyright for music means.
What is copyright for music?
Almost every music piece that an artist creates comes with copyright. Copyrights allow the original creators of music to protect their work from being used by anybody for their business or personal gain. It is an exclusive right held by the owner and can only be used by others if the owner himself grants them a license or permission. You could read more about how to access licensed music streaming services on various websites like Cloud Cover Music.
Now you might have heard of copyright-free music and royalty-free music. But are they really free and what's the difference between them?
Well, first off, while they may have the word 'free' in their names, copyright-free and royalty-free music are not really free.
Copyright-free or royalty-free music actually means that no one owns the copyright to said music and no one needs to pay royalties. But it's important to remember that this is really rare because most of the music out there has copyright including royalty-free music.
Now, people use these terms together and almost synonymously everywhere. But they are not the same. Here's how they are different from each other.
The main difference between copyright-free and royalty-free is that copyright-free has no copyright while royalty-free has copyright.
Copyright-free, as the name suggests, literally means that they don't have copyright. Here, the creator of the music may have decided to release the music to be used without any restriction or they could be music whose copyrights might have expired. But again this kind of music is extremely rare to find.
Public Domain works are examples of copyright-free music. These are usually pieces of music that were published before 1922 and have entered the public domain to be used by anyone. They don't require any permission have no restrictions.
Royalty-free simply means that you don't have to pay royalties, meaning you will not have ongoing payments. Most royalty-free sites offer you a one-time purchase for the music and they allow you to use it thereon. But remember that this music still has copyright. Some sites also allow you to download their music for free but may require you to give attribution.
Creative Commons is one such license that allows artists to retain their copyright and allows users to use their music for free but with attribution and approval from the artists. Make sure you read each track's licensing agreements before you use them in your videos.
The type of licensing for each music piece depends on the artist.
You can know the licensing of each music based on these symbols
Can copyrighted music be used on Facebook?
Well, technically, no. You cannot use music that has copyrights on Facebook unless you obtain a license to do so. Facebook takes really strict action when it comes to copyright infringement. They can remove videos or even ban accounts if they repeatedly detect such activity.
Facebook users faced several issues of their videos being taken down due to copyright issues related to the music they use. So back in 2018, Facebook entered into deals with big music groups like Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, to give users more options for using music in their videos.
At times, users still face a few problems with removals because of their sounds in their uploaded clips. To make things clear on what content you can use and what to avoid, Facebook listed out a few permissible guidelines.
- There are no limits on things like music that you use in Stories, or traditional musical performances. For instance- 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. For example, a stream may be interrupted, parts of your video could be muted, or it could be removed entirely.
- Shorter clips of music are recommended.
- There should always be a visual component to your video; recorded audio should not be the video's primary purpose.
These guidelines are applicable for Instagram videos as well because Instagram now comes under Facebook.
To further help users be aware of the content they post, Facebook issues notification alerts. This is done whenever they detect any use of music that doesn't adhere to their licensing agreements in live streams and uploaded videos.
These updates are as of September 2020 and include making these notifications earlier to users. This gives them time to make the required adjustments to their streams. And even if Facebook mutes or blocks your video, they will clarify what actions you can take to stop the interruption.
How can you avoid copyright violations on Facebook?
Now prevention is better than cure. So why end up in trouble when you can follow certain guidelines to ensure that your videos aren't violating copyright?
Let's look at some of the ways you can do this.
1. Read Facebook's Copyright policies
You need to be aware of the site policies that you're using. Facebook isn't going to vouch for you if you ever get into trouble for copyright infringement. So if anyone goes against their policies, they simply ban the account or remove the video.
It's all going to be in your hands in the end. So always make sure you read their policies, terms, and conditions thoroughly and adhere to them. You could also visit Facebook's help center to get more clarity about their copyright policies before uploading your content.
2. Avoid sharing music you didn't license
Sharing music on Facebook is one of the easiest ways you could get into trouble for copyright infringement. This is especially common while posting cover songs or while streaming them.
Facebook does allow cover songs. But despite covering a ton of music, there are a few exceptions of songs that they don't cover. Facebook will notify the user so that they can adjust their playlist and minimize disturbances for future streams.
3. Always give attribution
Attribution does not mean that you're safe from copyright problems. It's just a nice way of giving credit to the original creators of the content. However, remember that if the owner doesn't want you to use their content, your attribution doesn't matter.
This works only if you're a business that they approve of, and so they might go easy on you and appreciate the exposure. Don't always count on it to save you from copyright, but it's a safe way to go.
How can you post music on Facebook without Copyright?
There are plenty of ways to post music on Facebook without copyright. We've listed some of the safest and legal ways to use music in your videos when you don't have copyright.
1. Request for a license
While there are various sources to choose music from, if you want to use a particular piece of music that has copyright, you will have to obtain a license from the music owner. Follow these steps to request and obtain a license to use copyrighted music.
- First things first, determine if the copyrighted work requires permission.
- Next, try and find the original owner of the music.
- Identify the rights needed to use it.
- Contact the owner and negotiate a payment.
- Get the licensing agreement verified in writing.
Once you finish these steps, you can legally post your videos to Facebook after submitting the license you obtain.
Now, this isn't as easy as it sounds and might be difficult for video creators who have a minimum budget. In that case, keep reading to find out other options that you could make use of to include music in your videos.
2. Use Facebook's sound collection
Now, to avoid all the problems caused by copyrighted music and ease things for users, Facebook introduced their own ‘Sound Collection'. This gives users a list of high-quality audio tracks and sound effects to choose from to include in their videos.
Facebook has a wide collection of tracks as well as sound effects that you can choose from
Facebook owns all these audio tracks and you can use them for free on both Facebook and Instagram. Although they're generic-sounding background music, they can be effective and come in handy for those who want to add an extra element in their videos.
3. Use royalty-free music
If you're looking for more music options for your videos, you can find many sites that have royalty-free music. You can browse the internet to find many sites with background music pieces for your videos. They won't require royalties to be paid to use and come in a wide variety of options to choose from.
You could also check out 10 great places to find royalty-free music for your videos.
Many online video editing tools have in-built audio libraries with music that are usually royalty-free. Typito too has a small collection of royalty-free tracks that you can use in your videos.
FAQs on copyrighted music for Facebook
Here are still more questions that you might have about using copyrighted music on Facebook.
1. What happens if I post copyrighted music on Facebook?
Initially, Facebook blocked videos if they detected copyrighted music in them. But after entering into various licensing agreements with big music groups, Facebook introduced new rules and so they now inform the users if the included song is allowed as per their licensing deals.
2. How many seconds can you use a copyrighted song?
There is no hard and fast rule as to how many seconds of a music track you can use without copyright. While you may have heard that using 30 seconds or under is ‘fair use,' it can still get you into trouble for copyright infringement.
People only use it as a defense in cases of copyright infringement. But don't count on it all the time. So try to acquire a license before using copyrighted music to avoid any sort of trouble.
When we talk about Facebook, their rule is that you can use music elements as long as it does not take up a significant amount of the original work. We can't say what qualifies as substantial, so you can choose to take the risk or play it safe.
3. What happens when Facebook removes your content?
If Facebook removes your posts due to copyright reasons, you will receive an email and notification about the removal. If you believe the content shouldn't have been removed, you can resolve the issue directly with the rights owner.
You can also submit an appeal to Facebook and follow the instructions that they give you, which will be included in the email you receive at the time of removal.
4. Can I post a cover song or music video on Facebook?
Facebook generally allows covers to be uploaded. Although they cover a ton of music, there are a few songs with exceptions. For songs that are not covered by Facebook, they will notify the users to make adjustments accordingly for future streams.
5. How do you know if a song is copyrighted?
Almost all the music out there is under copyright. However, a few artists allow you to use their music for free or with attribution. You can use songs without worrying about copyright in three ways. They should be under
- Public Domain
- Creative Commons License
There are plenty of royalty-free music sites that offer the above options, and they will specify the licensing requirements that come along with each track.
We hope you have a better idea about Facebook's regulations regarding the use of copyrighted music in videos. So here are three things to take away from this post.
- Read Facebook's Copyright policies thoroughly.
- Use royalty-free music
- And finally, don't let the fear of copyright restrict you from posting unique content (that you should create yourself).
Make sure you adhere to all of Facebook's requirements and use all the alternate options mentioned above to create stunning videos with music.
Feel free to leave any question you have regarding copyrighted music for Facebook in the comment section!
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