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Questlove DJing at FAC in Havana
Night two of Questlove DJing at F.A.C. in Havana.
Photo by Dan Petruzzi for Okayplayer

Instagram is Cracking Down on DJs Playing Full Songs in Live Sessions

The social media company claims playing more than 90 seconds of a song violates their deals with labels and music publishers.

Despite the sure uptick in usage and viewers, Instagram is holding DJs to a 90-second cap on the portion of a song they're permitted to play during a live session.

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According to DJMag, the social media platform recently introduced a pop-up function to warn DJs of the termination of their live stream when the app detects the use of a song without copyright clearance. But that's just the most recent step taken by the company. Page Six reports Instagram has been flagging live-streamed sets for months. And, per a comment from Swizz Beatz on the Verzuz page during last night's showdown between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, there's no exception for his insanely popular live "battles," even as the weekly match-ups continue to draw hundreds of thousands of viewers to the platform. Swizz insists on contenders complying to Instagram's copyright policies, presumably due to complaints from the company over copyright violations.

Instead of playing songs in their entirety with no claim to copyright, Instagram newly published guidelines for the inclusion of music in live streams suggests DJs use (parent company) Facebook's sound collection of "custom music and sound effects" for their sets.

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And some selectors are already taking them up on the challenge. Tomorrow night, Tanya Morgan's Don Will and Jean Grae are slated to host "the first-ever Instagram-approved DJ set," exclusively featuring sanctioned noise from Facebook's free-to-use sound collection, a must-watch for anyone wondering how bad it could get if Instagram, labels, and publishers, get their way.