Instagram Copyrights Music in Videos and How to Avoid it?

Instagram and Copyrights have walked hand in hand right from the birth of the social media giant.

There have been few incidences where people have accused Instagram of failing to tackle copyright issues on their platform. More often than not, photographers have been victims of these issues. In many cases, their photos were stolen without their consent and were SOLD elsewhere without their permission. Imagine the horror!

But well guys, its Internet.


This is what Instagram has to say about Copyright appeals:

instagram copyright music appeal


This means if you appeal for copyright then and only then will the copied content be taken down!

Otherwise, you are free to use or “SHARE” media without the consent of the owner.

Instagram has made it clear in its terms and conditions that, whatever you post on Instagram may be copied/Shared/used by anyone on Instagram.

One such incident which took place in 2014, when photographer Sion Fullana’s images were shared on Spanish Vogue’s official Instagram account without credit:

Instagram copyright Case

Later, they apologized though.

Can you copyright Instagram photos?


You cannot. The best way to ensure your media is not stolen is to not to share them on Instagram!

However, after getting sued by many photographers, Instagram decided to tackle copyright issues in a more efficient manner. In 2017, Instagram rolled out a secret update that targeted users using copyrighted music in their videos!

I have an account where I share videos quite often. I just “REPOST” them on my account.

I was unknown to this update until Instagram sent copyright claims on my email.

Here’s a snapshot:

Instagram copyright music infringement

Instagram took down many of the videos that I re-posted even though I gave full credits to their owners.

Later I found that it was not the videos that were copyrighted it was the MUSIC!

It was then when I came to know about the Instagram Copyright Music Issue!

How to Post Copyrighted Music on Instagram?

In case you love a particular music track or still want to use copyrighted music, here are few tips you can use to get around music copyright on Instagram:


No matter what content you Re-post/share, you should always give proper credit to owners. Also sometimes even after giving credits, your account may end up in danger as the owner might not want his content to be shared anywhere.


Instagram itself doesn’t forget to credit the owners of the content.

Here’s a Boomerang video of a UK blogger which was shared by Instagram’s Official Account:

2. Appeal if you want to use the Music!

In case you use a copyrighted soundtrack, Instagram’s automated system may detect copyright infringement and also take your video DOWN!

Don’t panic. You can still appeal to the owners to use it. Don’t forget to give proper credits in Captions!

instagram copyright music appeal


3. Make slight changes to the music!

Making a slight change to the music may help to skip the automated detection by Instagram, but if the owner finds your content, then you may get a copyrighted claim and your content will be removed!

You can use different Video editors (Android/IOS) to add background music to your videos!

Android: Magisto, VideoShow.
IOS: Cameo, Magisto.

4. Use Copyrighted Free Music for your Videos!

There are tons of websites on the internet that offer Copyright free Music on their website. You can use it to get around music copyrights.

Some websites that provide copyright-free music: (My Favourite!)
Go on! Use them!
So this was all about copyrights on Instagram and how to handle it. Instagram has started taking artists and creator’s content seriously and after this music copyright update, you can expect video and image copyright updates later!

I suggest focusing on creating full proof content so that you will never face any copyright issues.

I am sure these tips will help you to bypass Instagram copyright music. Let me know what you think about this!


Many people are facing this issue as seen in the comments below. Some users aren’t able to appeal and while some videos are still taken down even after appealing. Instagram hasn’t come forward and discussed this issue in public. The best way to avoid this would be using instrumental music of the song or completely changing the song and using copyright free music from websites listed above.

Also, If you yourself want to file a Copyright of Your Stolen Content, you can fill the Instagram copyright form here:

If you have any copyrighted music appeal, you can use the above link to report to Instagram. I am sure Instagram will take the content down!

Also Read: Avoid Spam Comments on your Photos

106 thoughts on “Instagram Copyrights Music in Videos and How to Avoid it?”

  1. Hi. Farshid, [25.07.17 23:28]
    I received this message from Instagram yesterday :

    ” We’ve removed the video you posted at 9:9 AM on July 24, 2017 because it included the following content:

    TKO UCC 7: Bad Boyz: Horn vs. Potvin by Unspecified

    If you have permission to share everything in the video including the audio, like the soundtrack or music, you can appeal the removal and have your video re-posted. Remember that people should only post videos they have the right to share.”

    I think the problem was about music. I got the music from youtube and i thought it was ok. I didnt know that i have no right to publish the music although i used just few secounds of this music. I removed the video and i sent explanation few times to Instagram..Today after i posted a new video, i got same problem and i think the number of views on my videos are not real and i I expectet more than this, according to my followers and my My previous videos. I think the number of views have been limited now and only someone can see my video or I can only see some of the views. I dont know what should i do? Instagram didnt fix my problem . What is the problem? Is it bolcking fra instagram like a ” punishment”? I think the number of views on my last post (video) are not real and i I expectet more than this according to my followers and my My previous videos. What should i do? Can you help me? Best regard from Norway.

      1. Farshid Ekhtiyarudin

        I did it…but the number of views have been limited now and only someone can see my video or I can only see some of the views. Is that, “Shadowban”?

        1. Number of views are limited now because of New Instagram Algo.
          Regarding shadowban:
          I don’t think it is a case of shadowban unless you are using spammy hashtags.

      2. does Affect my account if I make repost on videos that later instagram decide to remove.
        I know if that happens the videos on my account going to disappear,but instagram can delete my account??

  2. Question: My sister-in-law’s business had an event that I filmed and made a video of. She is wanting to post the video on Facebook and Instagram, but the soundtrack I used for the video has been flagged for copyright and taken down. I was not paid to make the video, and she isn’t making money off the video. If I give credit to the singer, can i appeal and use?

    1. You can try appealing and giving credits to singer but the copyright issue might remain if singer doesn’t want the song to be used.
      Alternatively, you can replace the music with copyright free song.

  3. How can I properly give credit to an artist of a song I used on my account? I like editing cool videos of me and my friends skydiving/surfing and I tend to add audio from my favorite artists just for kicks and I’ve never actually given credit to them despite appealing to the copyright several times for different posts. How can I properly give them credit in my caption from here on out?? Could you provide a format example?

    1. There’s no format for providing credits on instagram.
      You can simply give credits in captions. There is no guarantee that you avoid copyright through this.

      Some people just don’t want their stuff to be used.

      1. Hi, I see that this post is pretty old but I am dealing with this problem now also.. I used a drake song, there is no way I can ask Drake for permission lol, so how am I able to still use his song in my video without it being taken down?

  4. I used a clip of royalty-free music from iMovie’s sound effects. Otherwise, all the images in my video are mine. The appeal button doesn’t go anywhere. I can’t find any way to appeal.

  5. Hi Punit, I am a jazz musician. I want to create an Instagram account to post videos of me teaching jazz improvisation and just showing my ability demonstrating jazz playing. The issue that I have is that I am using music background tracks that contain real jazz musicians playing the chord progression of the song.(the arrangement). There’s no melody being played so there’s no song being played. Therefore I would not be violating any copyright laws because you cannot copyright just a chord progression/arrangement. But here’s the meat of my question… there are two issues that I am wondering if I will be violating copyright. 1) I play the melody or the song while I demonstrate. 2) the sound recording was made and owned by the big publishing giant Hal Leonard Corp. These backing tracks I speak of can be bought on Amazon. Do I need licensing from Hal Leonard to use this sound recording? So what do you think?

    1. 1. You can use melody. Song may result in copyright issue.
      2. You may need license. It really depends on company to company.

      Regarding instagram videos,
      I suggest to give it a try.
      Open a test account. Post your video on it. Check if you get copyright. If no, you can edit. If yes, you can post it on original account.

  6. I have posted a video of my sketches. And I added a song becoz it goes with my sketches. But it has been removed. What can I do. I worked really hard on those sketches and made a video out of it. Please help me out with this.

    1. Hello Arzu!
      Your video got removed because it may have contain copyrighted music.
      Use Copyright free music. You can google for free copyrighted free music.
      Make the video again using that new music.

  7. Hi Puneet,

    Instagram removed my whole account for music I’ve used in my videos…they were never the main focus of anything. What can I do ?

      1. i have sent them so many requests for help, they have not helped at all…only sent me automated response. my whole account and everything is gone. who else can I contact?

  8. Rebecca Grootendorst

    I recently made a video of a horseback rider (the video is mine) and I edited it to go with the music of Same Old Love by Selena Gomez. I gave credit in the caption and I worked very hard on this edit but it is saying that the music is copyrighted. If I were to replace the song I would need to do the edit all over again because it goes with the song. If I gave credit, can I appeal?

  9. Hey man, do you feel that they limit your impressions for a while after this happens? I ran into this problem and my account has took a dive this week after a few of my videos got taken down

  10. Is there a way to remove music from a video that I have already posted to instagram? They removed one of my videos today, I would like to fix this without having to remove the videos completely. Thanks for any help you can give me.

  11. I’m a magician posting my magic videos on Instagram. I would like to use well known music tracks over my magic videos. I also sing and play guitar. So do you think I can get around the copyright by playing cover versions of songs over my videos

  12. Hey Punit,
    I have this problem too, I have posted my wedding video with one of the Ed Sheeran music in 1 min. I want to know if I buy the music, Can I use it and appeal the instagram warning?

      1. Hi Punit,

        I have few questions on IG background music:
        1. Is it safe to use instrumental version of any songs, made by someone else ?
        2. For instrumental songs (classic piano pieces for example Mozart’s/Beethoven’s), any tips to deal with the copyright issues?

        Thank you

  13. Hey, Punit. I’ve made a video edit using one of my favorite artists and I’m trying to figure out how to post it without it being taken down. I’m using this song specifically so I don’t want to go the copyright free music route. I sent the artist a dm asking if I can use his song and I sent the video I wanted to use as well. I haven’t gotten a reply either way so do you think I should post the video and give the artist credit in the caption?

    1. hey smith,
      Popular artist won’t have time to reply to you.
      You can create another account on instagram as instagram helps you manage 5 accounts in a go.
      Post the video on second account and check whether it is taken down or not.
      If not, you are good to go.
      if yes, just change the song. Try instrumentals.

  14. Hi punit,
    I uploaded a slideshow on my instagram using music i downloaded on . It automatically got deleted and I appealed, this time giving credit to the music artist and the link. Instagram reuploaded my account and notified me that the owner will receive a notification of my upload. Is that okay? What is the worst thing that happens in these situations?

      1. Really? no chances of a lawsuit or any thing like that you think? There are some people saying you will get sued for thousands, etc. I am curious about this as well since I posted a video on instagram stories, just about panoramic views of the city, but to the tunes of a old tv show, and 15 minutes later got an email saying the usual: it has been taken down because it had so an so music.

        The weird thing is:
        a) it wasnt taken down (the email said ‘taken down’, but on instagram notifications it said “your video was blocked because it MAY have copyrighted content”) some friends still could see it (and a few minutes later it said: it MAY be blocked for some countries because of different laws) , all in all the music I thought it was ok to use but I guess I was wrong (the video is 100% mine), still I deleted the video myself practically 10 minutes after I got the notification. I searched for the song and still many instagram users have it even in posts promoting products.

        b) Second mystery: What or who got my instagram story blocked? was it the auto-bot or the copyright owner? IF it was the bot, why it took 15 minutes after I posted to block me? and why other accounts have the same tune even promoting cheap products? – IF it was the copyright owner (old but still famous) would they sue me for this infraction? (basically the post was up for about 20-30 minutes before I deleted it).

        Does the algorithm take up to 15 minutes to figure it out? Do the owner of copyright (a music label I imagine) get notified BEFORE they take down infringing posts?
        How many copyright infractions (even if they are done by mistake) Instagram let an account have before shutting down the account?

        …anyways, hopefully you will see this and thank you for writing this well researched article.

        1. Hey James,
          Thank you for commenting.
          The audio that you used may be banned in some countries and not everywhere. If you consider Facebook’s algorithm, it immediately finds the post with copyright music.
          Instagram’s algorithm as I said is not so fast I feel. I have observed the same thing. I got copyright notification after a while.
          Even if it’s your video, you need to remove it. I suggest using some other music mentioned in the blog post.

          IG algo is not quite accurate and I have also observed some accounts getting away with copyrighted music.

          To answer your question, there’s no number as such. I don’t think instagram will ban your account now in 2019. They will just take it down and send you a notification.
          Not in contact with any music label as such, so I can’t confirm whether they get a notification or not. But then I don’t think so instagram will take such steps. Just an overhead functionality.

          I hope this helps. Cheers!

  15. Hi Punit,

    Seems like you’re the man with answers! We run a ride service in Miami Beach. We’re rolling out carpool karaoke in each car and want to know if we’d be able to post the videos of people performing the songs.

    Thanks in advance

  16. So instagram deleted my video for copyright contents and i went to appeal it but every time i appeal it it closes out of the app

  17. Hey there,

    I uploaded a 1 min video of a 9-minute performance on BBC one, but the video was taken down because it’s copyrighted by “Saturday Night Live”?!!
    I thought I’d appeal but still I’m not authorised to publish BBC content either, I was just posting the video to share part of the performance I liked. Isn’t there a way around it?

      1. Thank you for all of your help and direction with everyone’s question. My question is do you know why can you post a clip of a tv show on YouTube but not Instagram? Are the copyright laws different within each platform?

  18. Hey!

    I make drawings inspired in songs i’m really into, and I upload them to my personal Instagram just to share what I do. And for a LOOONG time I have been planning to record the process of the drawing, edit it so it fits it a minute, THEN edit (cropping and re-aranging a bit) the song I’m drawing about, so it can fit perfectly in 1 minute.

    But this thing about Copyright came to my mind, and reading this shatters any hope of doing such personal project. Do you think that editing the song would change the way the copyright infringement works? Giving the credit the artist deserves OFC.

  19. So, I want to create a fan account of my favorite cartoon. I want to post clips from the show. What are the rules on this?

  20. Hello!

    I’ve been trying to get my video appealed, but on the notice page, with the appeal button, nothing pops up, leaving a blank page. Is this just a bug?

  21. christopher flett

    My video got taken down but did not identify the music. The email said…

    We’ve removed the video you posted at 11:19 PM on January 2, 2018 because it included the following content:

    1066387_6_VR_16_01_2 by

    What do those numbers and letters correspond to?

  22. I had planned to start posting recordings of old music from the 50’s/60’s that I have recorded on my record player. IG has been taking many down for copyright infringement.

    I feel uncomfortable with appealing because it wants me to sign my name to the fact that I have permission – which I don’t. I feel like it would be nearly impossible to get permission from each artist or their family.

    Is my idea through, or is there an easy way to get permission? Or is it not really a big deal to appeal and claim that I have permission?


  23. I received such a notice about a video with the ability to appeal but:
    1. I posted the same videos about a year ago and it was OK
    2. It is not music but videos that I download from Google of Fringe show. I attribute them to Fox Group.
    3. I cut them to 60 seconds videos. in all cases – 1 or 2 parts of the video were deleted and the 3rd part was published without a problem. no music but the original transcript.

  24. Hey
    I wanted to post a video of George Calin’s standup comedies , but instagram removed it with showing this message : it MAY have copyrighted content that belongs to someone else
    I posted it many times but everytime this just happened…
    I’ve seen this video in many other pages What’s the problem how can I post this video ?

  25. Hi, I recorded a video for our small business for Instagram and Facebook and the radio was playing in the background. Can we post the video? No editing or adding music later, they were just listening to music when I recorded it.

      1. I had the same problem this morning when I got a copyright notice from Warner Bros for a 31 second clip of me working out to bruno mars song in the background on the local radio. I filed a dispute with it stating how I was never aware of the copyright since it was just played at my house on the radio. That particular song just happened to be playing. Plus, I have seen other people in the gym take videos and they have to song in the background so how would that be any different. Yeah, you can clearly hear the song but still not intentional

  26. Does Instagram allow pages with a high amount of followers post copyrighted music?
    I have noticed that when I have reposted videos from pages with high followers amount, that I got copyright a notification, and the video deleted. But the original video stays up on their page doesn’t and They don’t give any credit to the musical artist.

  27. Hi – trying to upload a 45 second video of choreography and it keeps getting deleted because of the background music used for the choreography. The appeals option does not show up. Rather, a message pops up listing all the countries where i can’t use the music and then suggests I contact Sony music. BUT I can upload the video on another Instagram account I have with no issues. And my students have been able to upload the same video with no issues at all. What gives?


    I want to post my choreography, danced on La vie en rose by Louis Armstrong, but instagram blocks it every time.
    What can I do.?
    I hope my question is reasonable. I read the upper text a few times.

    should I appeal it eventhought i have no rights.?

  29. I uploaded a video with my pet and a tv show was playing in the background. The video was removed because of the sound of the tv show. Do I need to somehow remove the sound or should I just appeal it?

  30. A egyption singer named tamer hosny was doing a challenge from songs in his album. He has reposted many of peoples videos of them dancing to his music.. i made a video of my kids dancing to his song in the background in the car. I tagged him and gave credit.. Instagram blocked my video. Its not fair cuz others have been posting.. i appealed. So i hope they allow it to be posted

  31. Hello! I shared a video with one famous song, and instagram has blocked this video in some countries, including mine, (but hasn’t blocked it in countries like USA, UK, France, German etc.) I want appeal to instagram, claiming that i have permission to share everything in the video including the audio, like the soundtrack or music (but I don’t have a permission). What are the risks and consequences for me & my account?

  32. I posted a short dance clip with a song I used from my Spotify account. It got blocked because of the audio I presume and I did credit the artist. If you’re paying for Spotify does this not grant you access still?

    Thank you 🙂

  33. Hi
    I reposted a video from my husbands page. It’s a video of my son pretending to sing a song from lady gaga. Then I got that email about it being taken down because it had the following content:
    The voice Brazil by

    I thought it was weird, what could it be and what can I do? I don’t know what that has to do with lady Gaga

    Thank you

  34. I just posted a music video on my IG channel on instagram but It got blocked …it is really nonsense because it shows the singer that is singing the song so how can I use it as mine?! I also wrote the name of the song and siger on it !…what will happen if check the square that that i have the permission to share this video? Will I get punished?!

  35. We were at a ice dance show and the artists specifically requested that photos/videos be taken and posted to all forms of social media. The artists posted this request at the beginning of the show giving permission in a blanket big screen notification. But because of the song they danced to (and I am sure paid to use), my video was blocked. Is this appeal worthy or just cut my losses and show all my friends and family all over town?

  36. Hi, I posted a video with the song Headlines By Drake and instagram blocked my video. I tried to appeal but every time I click the appeal button through the email that I recieved from instagram it just brings me to the instagram home page. I am not sure how to appeal. Also, the song is by Drake and I did not claim this song as my own in no way shape or form. I did buy the song, so don’t I have rights to still use it? How do I give credit to drake? Should I just tag him in the post?


    1. You have brought the song from third party maybe like spotify or other music streaming site (not actual label). Hence, you cannot use the song.
      Appealing doesn’t work in 90% cases. So you have to use other songs.

  37. How about if I remix the song in real-time on instagram? Say I record a few samples from the original song and I start reconfiguring it in the actual video, would that be fine?

  38. Hi Punit my man,

    I’ve uploaded a still-image video of me singing The Weeknd’s song, and I used the official instrumental that I found on youtube, like, all the beats and the tones are the exact same, and I got taken down (I knew that this is going to happen haha). My question is, what will happen if I appeal? Like what’s the worst case scenario if I do that? I’m talking about lawsuit and things like that.

    Looking forward for your answer! Thanks my man.

    1. Hey Steve!
      If you are talking about stories, do check whether your song is available in the music section. If not, play it locally and record the story.
      If you are talking about IG Post, then you can use the above apps/tools to add music to your videos.

  39. hi somebody please answer!
    i have a fan page on Instagram @celeb.__.translation and i’m from Iran. i tried to post a music video by hailee steinfeld called love myself but once the posting prosses is finished i have a notification witch is called Your video has blocked by UMG , i guess. and when i opened it it was something like you’re not allowed or it is not right for thses countries to post and one of those countries were iran!
    but it’s only a music video and i haven’t copy it i told everyone that it is by hailee and i’ve sent a submit!
    do you think they will unblock my video??

    1. Firstly, it’s not about iran or other countries. A label can put restrictions of their own if they want to.
      Secondly, UMG may not allow anyone using their track in videos so they block the video. If you have appealed, hope for a positive response. No one can guarantee whether they will unblock the video or not.

  40. I have a burning question: How are all these (booty-shaking) dancers allowed to use music they clearly did not make but have playing along with their (twerk) performance videos, but when I use music by someone else to showcase my art, I get these copyright flags from Instagram. When I appeal, a shadowban usually follows with a decrease in engagement to my posts for a little while. I’m just about over Instagram and have left Facebook years ago. I’m seriously considering using Patreon and YouTube combined to avoid all these problems. What do you think?

    1. I agree that the platform is very strange in terms of copyrights. But you need to appreciate the fact that billions of photos/videos get uploaded every day and it’s really hard for them to detect which content is good or bad.
      I recommend starting with youtube and patreon for your art business. Youtube has better mechanism to deal with copyrights than instagram.
      Hope this helped!

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