Music Licensing & Copyright

It can be disheartening when you create Instagram videos or content that immediately gets flagged or removed because of music copyright. Instagram music copyright rules can be a little tricky to navigate, but there are some tips and tricks to help you avoid infringement, or even find great music that won’t cause you any issues. We’re here to help you out and spell out your options, so here we go!

Tons of creators have had times when they have posted a video featuring music – only for it to be removed within a couple of seconds. So, how are Instagram detecting this so quickly?

This is an automated system that flags copyrighted music. Sometimes, it even takes down videos for people who have the rights to use the music! If you know about YouTube Content ID, it’s a very similar process for identifying breaches.

What happens when Instagram detects that you are using copyrighted music differs. It can vary between:

  • Muting your post but allowing the visual content to still play
  • Removing your Instagram post
  • Ending your live stream

When it comes to live streams and stories, Instagram will give the user a warning before ending or removing content. The message will tell you to change your music, or the post will be taken down.

Unfortunately, there is no way around this if you want to use popular copyrighted music (other than trying our Similarity Search to find similar sounding tracks to license).

Here are some tips to help:

Include Visuals

Instagram’s music copyright rules state that your video should include a visual component if you want to use music. This means that you are more likely to have your video removed if you are simply sharing audio with a blank screen – so make sure you have visuals in your content!

Keep It Short

Shorter videos tend to be accepted by Instagram in terms of music copyright. The greater the number of full-length, recorded tracks in your video, the more likely that your video will be muted or removed.

Credit The Artist

This may not necessarily prevent your video from being taken down, but it can prove helpful when appealing it. This demonstrates that you aren’t trying to claim the music as your own and are giving appropriate credit to the owner.

Live Music

Music in live performance situations (such as posting Instagram stories of a concert) are permitted, so no worries on this front!

Try Facebook Sound Collection

Instagram also provide copyright free music via Facebook Sound Collection. This is a library of copyright free music and sounds for you to use, guaranteeing that your post will be safe.

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels that are 15 seconds long can help to avoid copyright infringements. Sure, it’s short – but Instagram Reels have a built-in music feature, ensuring that your Reel won’t get removed for infringement.

How Can I Use Copyrighted Music Correctly On Instagram?

The above tips are just a guideline, and we can’t guarantee that your video won’t be removed. If you’re dying to use a certain track, there are some ways to use it properly. They are:

  • Asking the copyright holder for permission. This is tricky for big artists as you most likely won’t get a response, but it’s worth a shot for smaller artists. Simply reach out to ask if you can use their music before posting and hope for the best!
  • Find local musicians or smaller artists to create custom sounds for your Instagram videos, or to gain permission to use their current music. This way, you are also supporting independent artists by receiving custom music and sharing it with the world!

Other Alternatives

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We know what you’re thinking… ‘but I want THAT track!’

Recently, we partnered up with cinematographer and YouTube sensation Rob Ellis to talk about Temp Love in Filmmaking, and how you can go around getting attached to a specific track. So, we really do know the struggle. But sometimes, the vibe, theme or style that you like about the track can be found elsewhere.

With our new Similarity Search technology, you can find similar sounding songs that you can license. Starting at just $15 a month, you can have access to unlimited tracks in our library to use in your creations. You never know, it might fit your content even better than the original! If you’re interested in how this works, take a look at our article on Microlicensing For Creators!

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