Your ‘Despacito’ Upload Just Cost Facebook Millions

Posting YouTube videos? You’re probably breaking copyright law unless you got permission.

Posting YouTube videos? You’re probably breaking copyright law unless you got permission. ((Photo: Courtesy of YouTube))

Facebook is reportedly offering major record labels and music publishers hundreds of millions of dollars so its users can legally include songs in videos they upload, according to Bloomberg.

The online social media giant declined to comment on what it terms “rumors and speculation.”

“Music to my ears,” Peter Menell writes KQED. He directs the UC Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. He adds, “It does not solve the problem of how much gets back to composers/artists, but it is good to see the music and technology sectors working together to improve user experience and enjoyment of music.”

Apparently, many of us have been breaking copyright law uploading videos on Facebook, unless we only post videos where the copyright owner of the music used has given us permission. It’s not just music videos we’re posting, but also other videos that happen to feature music for which we and Facebook do not have the rights.

Most of the videos embedded on Facebook are uploaded by individuals. But in recent days, Facebook has rolled out a new video hub known as “Watch” through which the company curates content, including original video series financed by Facebook. That means more videos, many of them with music included. Think about it: there’s music under so much news and entertainment we like to watch.

Music copyright owners have been negotiating with Facebook in recent years, and they can ask Facebook to take down videos with infringing material. Facebook is also working on developing tools to identify and tag music that fails to meet copyright standards.

Facebook’s deeper move into the world of video looks like an overt attempt to rival YouTube for video traffic.

Since 2014, users of Google’s immensely popular online video platform have been able to preemptively anticipate what will happen to their videos if they include copyrighted music. Artists and labels can a) block a video, b) mute the music, or c) run ads to make money from a video.

YouTube also offers a large selection of royalty-free tracks.

Your ‘Despacito’ Upload Just Cost Facebook Millions 7 September,2017Rachael Myrow


Rachael Myrow

Rachael Myrow is KQED’s Silicon Valley Arts Reporter, covering arts, culture and technology in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. She regularly files stories for NPR and the KQED podcast Bay Curious, and guest hosts KQED’s Forum.

Her passion for public radio was born as an undergrad at the University of California at Berkeley, writing movie reviews for KALX-FM. After finishing one degree in English, she got another in journalism, landed a job at Marketplace in Los Angeles, and another at KPCC, before returning to the Bay Area to work at KQED.

She spent more than seven years hosting The California Report, and over the years has won a Peabody and three Edward R. Murrow Awards (one for covering the MTA Strike, her first assignment as a full-time reporter in 2000 as well as numerous other honors including from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television News Directors Association and the LA Press Club.
Follow @rachaelmyrow

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