Facebook to Help Users Feature Copyrighted Music in Videos

Facebook has struck deals with the major record labels and numerous indies so that users can upload videos featuring copyrighted background music without the fear of that content being taken down. Facebook plans to pay artists and labels when tracks are used, although rates have yet to be disclosed and it is unclear whether compensation would be based on video uploads or views. The social platform is not yet introducing a tool for adding a copyrighted song to a video, but Facebook-owned Instagram recently prototyped such a feature (Instagram is also prepping a feature that would allow for long-form video).

According to TechCrunch, “When users upload videos with music with the new rules in effect, they’ll be quickly notified if that song is allowed via the deals and fine to share, or if their video will be muted unless they submit a dispute to the copyright holder who then okays it through Facebook’s Rights Manager tool.”

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The upgrade is not part of the Sound Collection feature that the company recently launched for adding sound effects and royalty-free music to video content.

“Facebook is also starting to test a feature designed to steal users from teen sensation app Musically,” reports TechCrunch. “Facebook’s new Lip Sync Live lets users pick a popular song to pretend to sing on a Facebook Live broadcast. Hundreds of songs will be available to start.”

Facebook is also planning to test options for adding music to Facebook Stories.

“Music-equipped videos could boost watch time and engagement on Facebook without relying on viral pap the company has demoted in service of users’ mental well-being,” suggests TechCrunch. “Facebook has had a tough time keeping teens on its social network, as evidenced by declines in popularity amongst the demographic according to Pew’s survey data.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that Instagram is preparing a new feature “which could allow videos of up to an hour in length,” with a “focus on vertical video, or video that is taller than it is wide.” Videos have thus far been limited to one minute in length.

“The audience for original digital video, defined by the Interactive Advertising Bureau as ad-supported, professionally produced and distributed digitally, has grown substantially in recent years,” notes WSJ. “An IAB report estimated earlier this year that the audience among U.S. adults has expanded from 45 million in 2013 to 72 million in 2018.”