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How to Avoid Copyright Strikes on Instagram


youtube fair use policy

Have you ever thought to yourself, 💭 “That Drake video clip would look so good in my Instagram story… but I don’t want to get slammed with a copyright strike”? 

Whether that sounds like you, or even if you need to replace “Drake” with something like “flying squirrels”, chances are you could use some tips on avoiding copyright strikes on Instagram 🤷‍♂️. 

Here are the top three tips I provide my clients who are looking to post copyrighted material to their Instagram pages:

1. Keep it short ⏱️

Instagram’s algorithms are pre-programmed to identify long-form copyrighted video clips 📺. 

That being said, if you can keep your copyrighted clips between one and three seconds, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding a flag 🚩 on your content. 

2. Make it your own 👩‍🎨

Avoid copyright strikes by changing copyrighted video clips in a way that presents it as your own art. 

Sometimes people comment 💬 on videos, respond to them, or even fundamentally change them. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out this awesome mashup of the best songs of 2018 by Mashup Songs

Mashup Songs incorporate artists’ words, videos, and audio 🎧  clips and make them his own. This is a great example of the transformation of someone else’s art. 

Another great example comes from Cimone Hamilton, who successfully combines Rick Astley, Chumbawamba, and Avicii to make a song that’s better, I think, than the original.

3. Modify the original 🎞️

If you’re not going to change the meaning or expression of the video clip, then you can get it on Instagram without a copyright strike by physically altering the video file itself. 

Play around with changing the color scheme 🎨, add some noises, or perhaps slow down ⏪ the audio. The bottom line is that you need to make changes to the original work of art. 

Some examples of modifying copyrighted videos include this digitally sampled clip by Leslie Wai and this original art by ChannelHy, for which he took the underlying audio from a Seinfeld episode and added his own animation.

By keeping it short and adding your own flair 🌀 to any copyrighted material you post to Instagram, you can use the fair use law to keep your posts up and your account flag-free.