Music Copyright Issues in Athlete and Team’s Social Media Postings

May 4, 2023 | by Rachel Kronenfeld

This is Part 4 of a 4-part miniblog series. Read Part 1 here.

It may surprise you to know that sound can be monitored on digital platforms for copyright infringement. Hg recently helped several collegiate sports teams avoid potential lawsuits that could have cost the teams hundreds of thousands of dollars. At issue was use of copyright-protected music on various team and athlete social media posts. While it’s fun to use a favorite song as the backdrop to an exciting sports replay, it must be recognized that original music is a form of legally protected intellectual property. Using all or part of a song can be a copyright violation with the music publisher retaining the right to pursue legal recourse for unauthorized use of their material.

It is now easier than ever to use royalty-free music that a social media platform has been granted permission to share with their users via a catalog wherein songs can be searched and selected for limited playback of 15 or 30 seconds or even more in a specific post or video. Don’t take chances attaching audio of a favorite song to commercial social media postings, be sure to use royalty-free music or access the music catalog offered via the social platform, where even the most popular songs and artists spanning many decades provide snippets of their works to be used as soundtracks for posts.