Copyright-related issues

Facebook and YouTube have automated systems to detect copyrighted audio and video.  If your livestreams contain material that is detected by these systems, a few things might happen.

  • Audio may be muted
  • The livestream may be blocked in some (or all) geographic regions
  • The livestream may be deleted
  • The post or broadcast may be shadow banned (channel admins can see the video, others cannot)
  • The VOD (post-stream video-on-demand) may be blocked

In some cases, content is blocked without explanation or warning.  Here’s one example:

In other cases, you will be notified.  This may be by email or in your channel’s admin page (in many cases, Facebook sends these notifications to admins who log in via desktop but not on mobile).  In more "serious" situations, your channel may receive a copyright strike, which can have more significant repercussions.

Avoiding audio copyright issues 

The #1 problem is audio.  Music happens at the ballpark, especially in the 10 and under age groups.  

Here are some tips to avoid issues with copyright claims.

  • Do NOT aim your camera at a TV or stream from a room while the TV or radio are on.
  • Mute your microphone when there is ballpark or walk-up music.
  • Mute in between innings or during periods of the game where songs are playing.
  • Lower the microphone input for your stream.
  • Position camera away from loudspeakers or use a directional microphone.
  • Have a play-by-play announcer fill the audio space of the stream.

While adding some descriptive text may help in certain disputes, editing your stream’s description (adding “I do not own rights to the music”) is generally not helpful.

Which platform is more forgiving for ballpark audio?

At the time of writing, it looks like Facebook has the most sensitive detection system.  Their detection system was upgraded in February 2022.

Can I stream to YouTube but still share the stream to Facebook?

Yes.  If your team has both YouTube and Facebook destinations, your STREAMING tab will show an option to stream to YouTube only.  The system will post your YouTube broadcast link to Facebook after scoring begins.

Can I dispute a copyright claim or block?

Yes.  The main focus of your livestream is the ballgame, and ballpark audio that is outside of your control can often be considered incidental background music.  

There are ways to dispute these notices and takedowns (and several of our users have been quite successful in restoring their content).  However, this takes time, may not always work, and won't save a live broadcast from a copyright bot.

Here is one useful reference from a sidelineHD user.

Additional resources