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I would like to use Instagram’s music library for a story/a reel on Instagram. What do I have to observe when doing so?

Whether story, reel or video: It is usually not a problem if you, as a private person, are using music from the Instagram music library as a background. The platform authorises its users expressly to do so. Two conditions do, however, have to be met:

  1. The right only applies to the exclusive use on Instagram.

  2. The music must only be used for non-commercial content.

Not allowed, however, is using the songs for commercial and non-personal purposes In the music guidelines of Meta it reads: “Use of music for commercial or non-personal purposes in particular is prohibited unless you have obtained appropriate licences.”

What is considered private (on Instagram). And what isn’t.
If you use music in reels or in a story as a business, it is not considered private. The case is absolutely clear. It is, however, not always that simple. There may well be a distinction between Instagram business accounts and private accounts. Even activities on the private accounts can, however, be classified as commercial. For example, if product reports are concerned. Please remember: Even Instagram (Meta) cannot define what is and what isn’t deemed as commercial at the end of the day. This is always at the discretion of the respective rightsholders. It thus happens time and again that owners of private accounts receive written warnings from law firms. From the point of view of lawyers and rightsholders, the parties making such reels available to the public do not hold a licence for the music and have therefore infringed copyright.

What do I do as an Instagrammer?
Before you post a video with music on Instagram, think it through. Check whether your activities on social media channels may possibly be classified as commercial or “non-private” after all. If that is the case, please forgo using music from Instagram’s music library. Influencers and all those who strive to become influencers themselves, should also consider that reels from a garden party may also be deemed as commercial if you otherwise post contents typical for influencers on your account.

Businesses and other commercial users:
If you want to use music for a story or a reel on Instagram, you need to take the synchronisation right into account. This means that you need to obtain the authorisation or a licence from the rightsholder (e.g. the creator or the publisher) in order to use the music you chose together with a moving image (e.g. a video). In order to determine these rightsholders, you can use the GEMA repertoire search and get in touch with the publisher.

In the case of private, non-commercial users, the synchronisation right on Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok and Facebook is already covered. You do not need to do anything else there.

More on videos with music on Instagram & Co

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