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What are the rules for live streaming events on Facebook?

Earlier this year Facebook entered the world of live streaming with the launch of its Facebook Live feature, making it possible for users to broadcast video content in real time to a large audience.  Facebook live streaming is simple to use, easily accessible and a great way to interact with viewers in real time, so it’s no surprise that individuals have seen the potential for using this technology at events.

As with all content that is transmitted via Facebook, there are reporting tools in place to enable content believed to violate community standards to be reported and removed. Before you think about live streaming an event, it’s important that you take care protect yourself or your organisation from violating these standards.

Getting permission is key. When it comes to live streaming any type of event, always be aware of getting permission from the relevant people. Is the event private? If so, then the reasonable expectation of privacy may apply. This means that you are not permitted to record, or live stream, someone without their consent if the event is taking place on private property. For instance, if the event is taking place in a private meeting room or a personal office and not a public space then you cannot live stream without the permission of those present. Ensure that you have all the appropriate permission, including written consent from featured individuals, ahead of time before live streaming any event.

Even if the event is taking place in a public space, to be on the safe side, it is a good idea to include a release form in the event registration process as well as placing a crowd release notices around the event venue. This way you can make attendees aware that there will be a live stream taking place and give them the opportunity to leave if they don’t wish to be involved. It is also worth noting that if you’re live streaming an event as an attendee; the first thing you should do is ask the event organisers and ensure you have their permission to do so.

You should also be aware of rules and restrictions that apply to copyrighted or trademarked material to protect yourself from liability when live streaming at an event. We’ve all seen programmes on TV where a logo on a product or item of clothing has been pixelated because the producers don’t have the permission of the copyright owner to show it. Sadly, when it comes to live streaming there is no option to go back and edit the content so you need to avoid capturing any content of this nature in the stream without permission. To guard yourself against copyright infringement, check the area where your stream will be taking place for any posters, artwork, logos and screens and ensure that your stream will not interfere with any keynote speeches, performances, music or video clips that may be subject to copyright laws or cover sensitive material.

Facebook live streaming is great tool for event professionals, organisations and even attendees to increase reach and engage a wider audience in real time. If you follow these simple rules, then there’s no reason why your next event live stream shouldn’t be a great success; connectivity permitting, but that’s fuel for another blog…