A DJ’s Guide to Navigating Copyright Issues in a Livestream World

The music industry took a major beating from the pandemic, and DJs found themselves taking some of the most significant blows.

Rebecca Smart Bakken
7 min readMay 26, 2021


In the world of music marketing, copyright issues have always been a challenge. But the mass departure from traditional marketing to an influx of online performances spotlighted just how unprepared social media platforms were for this live stream takeover.

Can you imagine the copyright claims and issues that popped up when the entire music community went online seemingly overnight?

Music is a universal language, but when it came to marketing it almost exclusively online, a lot was getting lost in translation.

The Day The Music Died

You had DJs who could no longer reach their fanbase on the dancefloor, so they naturally started going LIVE online. The problem? They didn’t have the rights and licenses to do that. They may have purchased the tracks, but sharing them on social media is a whole different ballgame from a copyright perspective.

So shutting things down seems like the only option. If you don’t have the proper licenses, you can’t post the music. It doesn’t sound too complicated yet.

But WAIT — can the algorithms determine if someone does or doesn’t have posting rights? Just ask Metallica, who was muted for playing their own song on Twitch. That would be a hard “No.” The algorithms don’t always know what’s up.

Twitch and Facebook both took a “When in doubt, BAN!” approach. How do you think that went over with their users? Musicians, DJs, or anyone logging into a social media platform will not respond well to constantly disappearing posts and threats of account suspension. Talk about…



Rebecca Smart Bakken

Rebecca is a tech entrepreneur driving change in the new music industry through innovative marketing strategies. Specialising in content marketing for musicians