Universal Music Group, the world's largest music company, said it will revoke licenses for its massive catalog of songs from TikTok after its current contract expires on Wednesday if the two companies cannot reach a new agreement that addresses Universal's concerns about artist compensation and artificial intelligence. And other issues.
in An open letter published late TuesdayUniversal accused TikTok of responding to its requests “with indifference, then with intimidation,” which led to a public dispute in the remaining hours of the current contract between the two companies. If the talks fail, TikTok users won't be able to use the music of Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, U2, Bad Bunny and thousands of other artists in their videos.
TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, is one of the most popular and fastest-growing social media platforms in the world, with more than a billion users, and its impact on youth culture around the world is unparalleled. The company says it has been used before More than 150 million Americans. For the majority of TikTok users, music is an integral part of the experience, and it's often songs It was comically sped up – Play short clips that fill users' feeds.
Universal said in its public letter that during the negotiations it asked TikTok to address its concerns about three issues: compensation for artists and songwriters, online safety for TikTok users, and “protecting human artists from the harmful effects of artificial intelligence.” Universal accused TikTok of allowing the platform to be “flooded” with AI-generated songs, which Universal said diluted the royalties of real, human artists and amounted to “sponsoring artist replacement by AI.”
In response, TikTok accused Universal of putting its “greed above the interests of its artists and songwriters.”
“Despite Universal's false narrative and rhetoric, the truth is that they have chosen to walk away from the strong support of a platform with over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent.” TikTok said in a statement.
TikTok has existing deals with other major music companies, including It was announced last year with Warner Music Group — home to acts like Dua Lipa, Zach Bryan and Cardi B — which the companies said will “create new revenue, marketing and insights opportunities for WMG’s artists and songwriters, while deepening engagement with TikTok’s massive audience of passionate music fans.”
By highlighting TikTok's value as a “free promotional and discovery vehicle,” the company touched on this A common nerve in the music industry: Technology platforms use music without fair compensation, and justify this by claiming promotional value.
TikTok has clear promotional value, and for many years has been a powerful engine for turning, sometimes obscure songs — like Lil Nas Do it on TikTok. As any TikTok user knows, music is often used as a background sound for comedy skits, dances, or… Time lapse power washing videos.
Universal's dispute with TikTok is a sign of the social media platform's power and its continued importance to the music industry. In the past, major music companies have clashed with Spotify, YouTube and Pandora as each was seen as violating copyright law or simply straying from the music industry's preferred standards in licensing contracts.
Now it may be TikTok's turn to confront widespread content removal. However, by Wednesday morning, it appeared that popular international songs were still being used in many users' videos.
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