Cover Band Central | Oh…hey, 2020. You’re still here? Seems like you’ve been hanging around for years. We should have known that starting January off with the death of one of the greatest rock drummers to ever sit behind a kit—Rush’s “Professor” Neil Peart—that we were in for a rough ride. But nobody ever expected the struggles that would befall the entertainment industry this year.

With a global pandemic shutting down live performance venues all over the world in mid-March, every major tour was put on hold, and musicians that would normally be gracing the stages of bars, pubs, clubs, coffee houses, festivals and theaters were out of work. Broadway closed up shop in New York City leaving orchestra musicians with no income. The entertainment world basically came to a screeching halt, and as of early September, very little has recovered.

Quarantined at home, many musicians quickly turned to live streaming to keep the juices flowing, to stay connected to fans, and to even make a few bucks through PayPal and Venmo tips. For the most ambitious, this has become a regular practice. Some players stream weekly, a few days a week, or randomly as the inspiration strikes. For musicians and music fans alike, this has been a welcome diversion from all of the daily chaos and uncertainty.

During the last week or so a meme has been floating around the internet of the latest music guidelines scheduled to be effective on October 1st for Facebook Products (which includes Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and a shitload of other things that you’ve never heard of). Basically, anything to do with Facebook is covered.

This news has (understandably) gotten a lot of musicians freaked out. But here’s the thing. As so often happens on the world wide web, information gets inaccurately reported, and this situation is no different. Oh, the music guidelines are correct—taken directly from Facebook’s Terms of Service. It’s the date that is wrong. These guidelines aren’t going into effect on October 1st. They’re already live.

The confusion seems to stem from the fact that Facebook did announce a TOS update that is effective October 1st, but it has nothing to do specifically with music or videos. Rather, the update is for section 3.2, which states in short that Facebook can remove or restrict access to content that they feel is in violation of certain provisions.

The current 3.2 is identical to the October 1st 3.2, except for this sentence at the end:

“We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook.”

So this update doesn’t specify music or videos, but it also doesn’t not. So…does posting a cover performed by your band or a live stream of popular tunes played by you qualify as something that could cause “adverse legal or regulatory impacts” to Facebook? It’s hard to say. It depends what they consider adverse.
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Let’s go back to the Facebook music guidelines…specifically this part:

You may not use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience

“We want you to be able to enjoy videos posted by family and friends. However, if you use videos on our Products to create a music listening experience for yourself or for others, your videos will be blocked and your page, profile or group may be deleted. This includes Live.”
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Very important to YOU to read the full story here:

Thank you to COMBO Board member Sheena Morgan for alerting us to this story!


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