As if it hasn’t been bad enough trying to keep DJ livestreams, well, live, on Facebook, it maybe about to get worse. Because as of 1 October, Facebook is introducing sweeping new rules that appear to be more aggressive than ever towards DJ livestreaming.
While big-name DJs, music industry companies and record labels continue to do behind-the-scenes deals with Facebook to host DJ livestreaming events with impunity on the platform, it seems explicitly that “one rule for them, one rule for us” may be about to be fully enforced.
Read this next: How To Use Livestreaming To Get Noticed As a DJ
In its updated terms of service, which come into force on 1 October, Facebook states users may not publish content that “infringes or violates someone else’s … intellectual property rights”, going on to say that “We … can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook.”
It then links to “specific music guidelines, which state:
“You may not use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience … If you use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience for yourself or for others, your videos will be blocked and your page, profile or group may be deleted. This includes Live.” (our bolding).
The full guidelines go on to describe scenarios where bans are likely to be enforced, but the message is clear: Facebook is for sharing with family and friends, not for sharing music – unless you happen to be big enough to get an exception to the rules for your commercial enterprise.
So what is a DJ livestreamer to do?
Well, if you want to stream legally, you have a few options, the most obvious of which is Mixcloud Live. Yes, you’ll have to work harder for your audience, and yes, the platform charges a monthly subscription, but it is 100% legal and has been designed for DJs.
Learn to livestream the right way: DJ Livestreaming Made Easy
Another option is YouTube. Because of its stance towards allowing rights owners to monetise copyrighted content through advertising and data mining, it is the most lenient of the mainstream platforms to livestreaming – but it is way behind Mixcloud, and your stream may still be stopped, blocked, or worse.
It’s immensely frustrating for DJs, and such a shame that the law cannot seem to catch up with the tech and the way people want to use use it (especially as many would be prepared to pay for the privilege). It’s especially galling for DJs to see companies who rely on those same DJs as customers livestreaming apparently with the blessing of the big platforms.
But that’s how it is right now. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you…
UPDATE: Facebook has reached out to us asking us to state that the music guidelines linked to in the new T&Cs were actually written in 2018, although they bear no different date. We’ve asked for clarification on what this means for DJs, and will update further should we receive anything useful in reply.