The rules of copyrighted material on the internet can be confusing at times and people might not expect their content to get taken down when it just posted for fun on their personal profile. However, Instagram has started using a new technology that allows them to recognize and automatically take down any video that contains copyrighted music. The algorithm Instagram uses is similar to the one YouTube has employed to tag users that have copyrighted music in the background of their videos.
When YouTube flags a video they might take measures such as muting the audio track but Instagram will simply remove the video and send the user a notice. You might have received a notice saying “your video has been removed because it included the following content” with a list of the song or songs in the video. The good news is that you can still post the video later by appealing the removal if you have permission or plan to get permission to use the music.
Avoiding Copyright Problems
Unfortunately, if you do not give credit the owner of the music or do not receive their permission to post it then you will not be able to repost your content. It is important to remember that you must always be careful to give credit to musicians or writers whenever you add a soundtrack to your video. This is true of any photos as well because posting someone else’s photography also qualifies as copyright infringement.
If you are re-posting someone’s video or photo, always give them credit for their content and even ask permission if you can. With music you can credit the artist but in some cases this will not be enough to avoid the problems that can occur with Instagram. If the app still detects copyright infringement then you can attempt to appeal in order to get your video posted.
Appealing can be relatively simple as the notice you receive regarding your video being removed will typically contain a button to click that reads “appeal”. If you have not already done so you can try to contact the owner of the music. If it is a local band or artist then it may be possible to negotiate payment and get their permission in writing which will help you successfully appeal.
When it comes to very popular mainstream music it can be more difficult to get the rights to post the owner’s content. You will need to prove to Instagram that you have permission to use the music in order to re-post your video. Without permission you will have to find different music or re-post without audio.
Other Options for Posting Music
Sometimes you can get around the copyright algorithm by making slight changes to the music so that it is not detected and flagged. With an altered version of the song you may still get the effect you want in your video without having to worry about getting in trouble with Instagram. You can use video editors to help you put together your background music with the images.
Another option preferred by many people who create their own content is to look for copyright free music online. There are libraries of stock music that you can use in any project you want without worrying about your video getting removed. Some artists willingly put their songs into the public domain and people are free to use this music for their own content.
There is also the option of purchasing music that is “royalty free” meaning that you pay a one time fee for the rights to the song and can use it as often as you’d like without paying again. Instead of paying licensing fees for each use you pay one fee initially and have the ability to continue using the song. This can simplify copyright issues and make it easy to prove that you have permission for the music to Instagram.
If you or anyone you know has their own original music this can also make a great addition to your video and help you support local artists. Make sure you give them credit and pay them any fee that they feel is fair for the use of their song.
Although you might feel disappointed if your video was reported, you can still create content and add great music without creating any copyright issues. Take the time to learn more about how copyrights work and be cautious whenever you are adding background music. Instagram can still be a fun place to post original videos with a soundtrack you are happy with.
If you want to learn more about copyright issues you can read more in the Instagram help center and research the best ways to post videos with music.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.