World Copyrighted music, a new weapon for the American police...

Copyrighted music, a new weapon for the American police to avoid ending up on Instagram


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648x415 police americaine illustration

American police, illustration. – Jewel SAMAD / AFP

Play a Beatles song on your smartphone to avoid ending up on social media. This is the reaction that a Beverly Hills (California) police officer had to activists holding the Always Film the Police Instagram account on January 16.

While being filmed by the activist, the policeman does not play just any music: a song protected by copyright. The goal: for Instagram’s algorithm to detect the song and remove the video for copyright infringement, reports Vice relayed by Clubic.

An automatic algorithm

The collective “Always film the Police” has witnessed these actions on several occasions during live sequences. They have in their possession at least three videos in which different police officers act in the same way, brandishing a smartphone which plays music in the direction of the camera.

In the face of such a video, Instagram’s algorithm does not differentiate with actual copyright infringement and may cut the live stream or remove the post. Repeated violations can even result in the suspension or deletion of the accounts in question.

The technique is not new reminds Vice. Two Lumen Database researchers, who study copyright removals on social media, found that during Black Lives Matter protests, several videos with a copyright-protected audio track in the background were deleted from different platforms.



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