Making a Scene Presents Social Media AI Technology is Getting Tougher on Copyright Infringement
With the shutdown of the gig economy due to Covid 19 many musicians have moved to Live Stream platforms like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Twitch to get their music out. At the same time the social media platforms have been improving their algorithms on detecting copyrighted material being broadcast on their platforms. This system is designed to protect the social media platforms from liability of copyright infringement and uses AI to identify and flag music that is copyrighted.
Recently Facebook has introduced a strike-based system. Much of the Content that went under the radar a few months ago is now being flagged for copyright violations. In some cases the stream is stripped of audio and at times it can be abruptly taken down completely. For the most part Facebook users are kept in the dark and don’t know why their stream was muted or taken down. On Facebook users cannot determine how many “Strikes” they have nor is there any way to dispute the violation and the resulting action they take to remove it. Repeat offenders could have their accounts blocked or even deleted.
To understand some of the reasons you might get flagged for copyright violations here are a few examples you might want to look out for.
- If you go to a concert or Ticketed event that audio of that performance is copyrighted and could be subject to being taken down.
- If you are at an event, or even walking down the street live streaming and there is recorded music playing in the background through a sound system this will be flagged as a copyright violation
- You decide to become a LIVE Stream DJ and create a “Listening Experience” using recorded music
- Any recorded video or Live stream that contains music owned by someone else
For example, everytime you upload or go live on Facebook your audio is scanned with two systems. The first is Facebook’s own Rights Manager, the second being Audible Magic, a third party AI platform which is designed to identify content in real-time accurately and provide a simple end to end solution for social media platforms.
Musicians LIVE Streaming
For now it seems the algorithms cannot identify music the does not “Sound” exactly like the recorded version. But, if you are a musician that performs your own music online and your performance sounds like your recorded version there is a chance you may get flagged even if you own your own copyright. There is no way for any of the social media platforms to determine whether you own the copyright or not. In the case of Facebook there is no mechanism to dispute their actions, you may have your stream deleted, muted and you will get a strike for copyright violation and may even have your account deleted.
This can be especially a problem if you are with a independent label or your have your music registered with a aggregator like Tunecore or CD baby as they administer the copyright of that particular recorded music. The fact that your recorded music is copyrighted might trigger the AI to flag your content as a violation even if you are the copyright holder. The only way around this is to have your music “Whitelisted” to your particular Facebook page or account.
One of the many casualties of this problem have been the Classical Musicians and Ensembles. Many are finding their performances being deleted or muted for copyright infringement (see Washington Post Article)
Whitelisting your Music
If you are with an indie Label, you need to have them whitelist your music catalog with Facebook and other streaming platforms. If you are your own label this can be a bit more difficult. Facebook does not make it an easy process, but it can be done through their “Rights Manager“
If you are with Tunecore, CD Baby or any other digital aggregator that is collecting on your behalf, I would recommend contacting the directly and see how you can establish a Facebook page that is whitelisted for your music catalog. I know on Tunecore you can establish a separate Youtube Channel for Live Streaming which you can Whitelist through their dashboard.
For the most part streaming LIVE performances are still safe for musicians for the time being. This is not to say you will not get caught up in this net if you create a performance that strongly resembles your own or another artist’s recording.
These advancements in AI detection could not come at a worst time for indie artists. It has been LIVE streaming, Virtual Venues and Virtual Festivals that have been that lifeline for indie artists not only for artistic expression but also for some sort of revenue stream. There is a chance that some of these could be stopped in their tracks by this AI detection technology, with little to no way of disputing that decision.
Copyright infringement is a big issue and the social media platforms are going to great lengths to protect the copyright holders rights. Unfortunately platforms like Facebook have little to no way to resolve issues of mis-identification or proper use by a copyright holder. All you have to do is try to get a hold of ANYONE in Facebook support to know what I mean.