The Future. UMG (Universal Music Group), one of the world’s foremost music companies, announced that it’ll no longer license its content to TikTok starting today. If TikTok doesn’t bend to UMG’s demands, the platform could be crippled by copyright lawsuits.
Stop the clock
UMG and TikTok failed to craft a new agreement after their last one expired yesterday and TikTok dismissed UMG’s complaints, which are:
- TikTok under-compensates artists compared to other social media platforms and only generates 1% of UMG’s overall revenue.
- TikTok enables the creation of AI-generated content and demands a contractual right to force human artists to share royalties with content that modifies their music with AI.
- TikTok doesn’t adequately attempt to remove or discourage generation of content that’s guilty of copyright infringement against musicians (or movies, for that matter).
TikTok has responded with equal hostility, claiming that UMG has “put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.”
Whoever you believe, a UMG boycott of TikTok is serious. UMG could sue TikTok for using music made by any of their artists, which include Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Drake, Bad Bunny, and many more massively popular creators.
Time could be up for TikTok unless they change their tune.