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Def Jam Christmas Party

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As the world continues to fight off boredom social media has become more clutch than we ever imagined. Unfortunately, things are getting rather complicated when it comes to playing tunes.

Last week Paper Mag published an in-depth story regarding the rising popularity of Instagram Live. As DJ D-Nice has proven with his Club Quarantine series, folks are truly enjoying the free entertainment courtesy of creatives from all over the country. However, not everyone is having the same luck as the former Boogie Down Productions member when it comes to playing music.

As noted in the feature several disc jockeys are facing some serious issues and all signs point to perceived music copyright infringements. Often times streams will get choppy to the point where the vibes are ruined; or even worse the DJ will get their session shut down and send all the viewers back to the home screen.

In what has to be commended as solid journalism, the writer Adlan Jackson reached out to a representative at Instagram to get a better idea of what the actual parameters are. While the executive did confirm that Instagram did personally work with DJ D-Nice to ensure his Home School stream would flow without a hitch they did not give exact guidelines. “While our partnerships with music rights holders allow people to add music to the moments they share on Facebook and Instagram, music rights are complex, and there are layers to the limitations in how we can allow people to include music in their Live videos.”

This leads to even more frustration for those in the nightlife sector who have to go viral while businesses stay closed. Through a bit of trial and error some personalities have figured how to reduce their chances of getting bounced out. “What I have been doing is avoiding mainstream music and not letting songs play too long without disruption” said DJ O.Minaya (A Boogie wit da Hoodie / Wendy Williams / Ed Lover) explained. “I make sure to talk frequently, drop sound effects and cut up the records so my IG Lives feel like a real party” he added.

The legal interpretation of infringement continues to change as technology evolves but clearly the Instagram Live channel is still being flushed out. Lawyer Ian Corzine put the dilemma in proper context.  “Well, when you DJ at a bar, generally the performer assumes that the venue has the appropriate licensing. Most times, [they don’t, and] it’s illegal. Most of the time, no one’s really going to complain, it’s accepted conduct in society. But on Instagram, there’s a computer reading every single note that’s being played,” he explained.

Instagram’s Help Center does provide some answers to some broad questions regarding infringing on intellectual property here. Unfortunately, none of the language speaks specifically to the IG Live constraints so the ambiguity seems like it is here to stay, for now.


Music Copyrights Are Sucking The Life Out Of Instagram Live Streaming?  was originally published on