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Instagram gets smarter about copyrighted music in live videos

We’ve already heard how Facebook Live usage has soared during the coronavirus crisis, and it appears Instagram Live is experiencing a similar uptick in use.

But Instagram said this week that increased interest in the livestreaming feature has created confusion in its community when it comes to including artists’ music.

At the current time, if someone plays a particular music track for too long in a livestream, associated licensing agreements mean there’s a good chance it’ll suddenly be muted, or even blocked, if it plays beyond a specific time limit. Of course, that’s annoying for the person broadcasting, as well as anyone watching.

In an effort to minimize such interruptions, Instagram has announced changes to the way it alerts a Live user when its systems detect that a broadcast or uploaded video may include music in a way that doesn’t adhere to its licensing agreements.

If you’re broadcasting live, a notification will now be displayed in good time to give you a chance to adjust your stream to avoid a jarring interruption that a sudden loss of sound can cause. Instagram says that moving forward, if a video is muted or blocked, it’ll explain more clearly to the broadcaster the actions that can be taken to avoid any unwelcome disruption.

“Your live video will be removed soon if you continue to broadcast music you don’t have permission to use,” one of the notifications says.

“At its core, Live brings people together in a real-time and unproduced way, which has opened up new creative opportunities for many creators, artists, and other public figures,” Instagram said in a post announcing the update, adding, “With these improvements, we look forward to people, artists, and creators continuing to use music to share and bond with each other across our platforms.”

Another recent update added to the popular photo- and video-sharing app allows Instagram users to more easily choose who can tag them in a post. The feature is part of ongoing work designed to curb bullying on the platform.

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Trevor Mogg
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