Universal are tearing down all cover song videos on Facebook

Want to tribute your favourite songs with your own cover version and share it with your friends? If you do, apparently you’re damaging a multi-billion dollar major record label…

We all know how strict music copyright can be, and for good reason to protect artists and the hard work they put into their art. But are cover videos on personal Facebook pages an infringement on a giant business’ profits or just some harmless fun? Universal Music Publishing Group would say the former.

After Facebook and Universal found themselves unable to come to an agreement over royalty payments for songs being covered on their platform Universal have decided to bring the hammer down and rip every cover of a song under Universal from Facebook. In case that wasn’t bad enough Universal are also attacking the “offending” accounts as more and more users report their accounts being penalised and taken down for simply uploading a cover video.

Speaking to Digital Music News, Christina Hall, a big Rihanna fan, said: “I was just notified that I committed copyright infringement on my latest cover of ‘Unfaithful’ by Rihanna. I love music and it’s my dream to make it in music one day. But having my videos taken down is very discouraging and frustrating because it’s a COVER and yet I’m being threatened. This is horrible and I feel bad for every struggling singer who is dealing with copyright on their covers.”

Harmless accounts who have been hit with multiple takedowns, for multiple covers, are having issues with account suspension as Facebook say, “Our policy is to delete the accounts of repeat infringers”. The takedown rampage is causing rifts with artists as well, like Ed Sheeran who has personally been apologising to fans that have been hit with copyright infringements and attempting to go against his label and reinstate covers, something that Universal are likely not too fond of.

Have you had a video removed or faced copyright issues on Facebook’s social media platform? Share your story in the comments below.

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3 comments

    Unbelievable. A cover is a cover is a cover! What next? Are they going to BAN “Cover” Bands from playing local venues? I’m sorry…This is nothing less than GREED a la “Wall Street”. The blow-back could prove fatal to the music industry if this keeps up…

    These fat suits should be taken to task as to why it’s not okay to cover songs of existing established artists, but it’s okay to steal original music from up and comers and release it under one of their existing established artists, because they’re absolutely guilty of doing precisely that.

    The police are the thieves in this case.

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