If you are a content creator an understanding of copyright law has become increasingly important, especially if you don’t want your creations to be demonetised, as is often the case with YouTube channels. The same applies for other platforms like Instagram, and earlier this week the company updated its guidelines for using music in videos.

“We want to encourage musical expression on our platforms while also ensuring that we uphold our agreements with rights holders. These agreements help protect the artists, songwriters, and partners who are the cornerstone of the music community — and we’re grateful for how they’ve enabled the amazing creativity we’ve seen in this time,” explains Instagram in the aforementioned guidelines update.

“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,” it added.

While the platform would not go into details regarding its licensing agreements, naturally, it did outline some elements that Instagram users would need to be aware of moving forward, such as:

  • “There are no limits on things like music in Stories, or traditional musical performances (e.g. 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 (more below on what we mean by ‘limited’).
  • For that reason, 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.”

Along with the updated guidelines, Instagram is also adding some in-app tools to help users know when they are illegally broadcasting music in their Live videos. This takes the form of a notification that will appear at the top of the UI for Live videos, as seen in the header image above.

From there the user can switch off the music in question, or run the risk of having parts of their video muted for copyright infringement, or potentially removed from the platform altogether.

Whether this new update and in-app tool have the desired effect remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Instagram does not want its platform to be a place where content creators infringe on music copyrights without consequence.