How to Use Copyrighted Music on Instagram Legally

Did you ever have a post removed from Facebook without knowing why? It might be because you unintentionally added licensed music to it. 

Because of copyright laws, it’s not possible to just use whichever song you want. Before you add one to your post, video or Reels, there are a few things to consider, such as the type of account you have and the type of post you’re using it for.

This might not concern you too much if you’re just posting on your personal account for your friends and family, but it doesn’t hurt to be cautious.

This definitely concerns you if you’re an influencer or if you have a company that uses Instagram to promote your products or services. There’s no question about it – whenever you use an audio clip, you must make sure you have the right to do so. Not being careful may lead to setbacks that can hurt your campaign and your overall marketing strategy.

What’s the reason behind this? The argument is that once you use music in your marketing, it’s considered as commercial material. Since you’ll be benefiting financially from someone else’s work, it’s only natural that the original creator will want to benefit from contributing to the profit you’ve made from their work.

Before we begin, it’s important to mention that copyright law is constantly changing, and the best practice, in general, is only to use music when you have the proper rights to do so. Please note that this post is not meant to be legal advice and that the laws may change at any time.

What happens if you use copyrighted music on Instagram?

In order to protect artists and their work, Instagram sets some restrictions that limit the kind and amount of music that can be included in your posts and stories.

As per Instagram

  • “There are no limits on using music in Stories, or traditional musical performances (example: filming a live artist or band performing their own music).
  • The more full-length recorded tracks in your video, the more likely the video may be limited (example: muted or blocked).
  • Shorter clips of music are recommended.
  • There should always be a visual component to your video; recorded audio should not be the primary purpose of the video.”

To ensure music is being used correctly, Instagram automatically scans all audio clips. As of late, they’ve begun to send warning messages when they come across accounts that are unlawfully using protected music. 

If you get one of these copyright infringement notifications, you’ll receive instructions on what you should do to avoid consequences. In the event you don’t follow these instructions, they will either mute the sound, remove your post or end your stream if it’s live. 

Avoiding copyright issues on Instagram takes an extra step, but it can help prevent getting your content removed or suspended.

If you want to avoid Instagram copyright issues,

  • Always give credit to the musicians who wrote and performed the song
  • If possible, get permission directly from the artist to use their music
  • Use only royalty-free music and don’t use music without a license
  • Pay for a license to use the song 

What to do if Instagram takes down your content

It may happen that Instagram removes or reports one of your posts by accident. In such a case, you’re able to make an appeal by using the link they include in the copyright infringement notification. 

If you have purchased the license for that song, keep all the related information and receipts together to show proof of purchase should you need to make an appeal. 

If You Need a Consulting Regarding Using Copyrighted Music on Instagram, Sanchelima & Associates Can Help

Sanchelima & Associates, P.A. is one of the leading intellectual property law firms in South Florida. With over 40 years of experience, we have represented the IP interests of a wide array of businesses in the US and abroad, including Fortune 500 companies. Whether you need a consultation or prosecution of a patent, trademark, or copyright, we can protect your business’s interests. 

Contact us to book your consultation!

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