The Legal Side Of TikTok: Music, Copyright and Ownership
Nowadays, TikTok is the newest and most popular social media platform to share different types of content including memes to Do-it-yourself (DIY) videos.
The popularity of this social media pierced during the Covid lockdown, it is cloudless that TikTok will not be going away in the near future.
With no surprise, micro businesses/ brands and influencers have made most of it. But what it looks like from a legal perspective.
Platforms such as YouTube have a bunch of regulations about the use of content and copyright violation for managing a good deal of personal content and sharing them as the users desire freely. So let us see how TikTok is different!
TikTok is not different. E.g. It is still subject to the Australian copyright laws, but these regulations are not too strict because it is actually a new brand platform.
There are some interesting tips about IP and copyright on TikTok. Elseways encourages the creators to collaborate – e.g, duets, stitches, and sounds which lets the users reuse the content of other creators with no issue.
Contrariwise, using copyrighted material inappropriately seems to go unnoticed relatively as easy as a pie, for instance, when the users publish visual or audio records of copyrighted material as part of their own video (e.g. records from a tv or computer monitor).
So, let us break down how copyright works on TikTok, and how it affects brands, businesses and also influencers.
How Music Copyright Works
All Social Media Platforms with a good deal of organic content would grasp attention to the infringement of the copyright laws. But it is complicated to recognize if you are violating Copyright, so it is foremost to know how it works on TikTok.
What Copyright is
Copyright is the protector of the ideas’ expression automatically. So, once that idea is expressed in a palpable form, it will be protected by copyright. So you may violate copyright deliberately or not deliberately.
Music Copyright Laws On TikTok
Music can be used without the risk of violating copyright on TikTok.
Since TikTok has some licence agreements with artists, they can use that music to end-users (including businesses and influencers).
When the licence is employed, they will not face any legal reaction. (Let us explain it in detail briefly).
In 2020, TikTok changed a little in order to make businesses able to use music. Formerly, TikTokers could add any track to the videos they create.
It was the policy of TikTok when it was named Musical.ly
Today, brands and businesses (verified) can access a Commercial Music Library containing rights-managed music.
In other words, they cannot use the same licensed music as regular clients.
It Is Legal To Use Songs In TikToks
It is absolutely fine and legal to add songs in TikToks, when they are obtained from the application and not from any other place.
As stated, the reason is that TikTok has a Copyright Licence Agreement or IP Licensing Agreement with labels and artists for using their music on the app.
In other words, the artist allows TikTok to use their IP in return for statement of charges. The contract probably cover the following notes:
- The countries which will or will not access certain songs.
- How long the music will be licensed for.
- If it can be revoked.
- How the statement of charges (royalties) are paid.
- If the music is sub-licensed.
More Copyright Licence Agreements notes:
If I Can Add My Own Music.
Original music can be added.
But the music of another person which is not already in the library of TikTok, absolutely no.
It has a risk of using copyrighted material and your work may be deleted.
TikTok does not allow you to post, share or send the content that is the violation or infringement of another person’s copyrights.
If I Can Avoid Copyright Violation On TikTok.
First of all, review the content before publishing it. Ask the following questions from yourself:
If the music is from TikTok, or you upload it separately.
Those Who are in the video. (people’s permission may be necessary to show them in your video)
The images or video footage which are shown in my video. (The images of others are protected by copyright.)
Remember that if you are a verified business on the platform, you can only use the non-exclusive music.
The Ownership of My Content On TikTok.
If you have created a video, you yourself are the owner of it! In other words, TikTok content is your property.
But TikTok’s End-User License Agreement (EULA) lets TikTok share your content as they like.
The Legals of Using TikTok For Business:
The verified businesses that use TikTok for creating content, are recommended to consult with a lawyer for ensuring that their content is not violating ©️ copyright.
For ensuring that a content is protected by copyright, you need to make sure about the validity of its format (because palpable expression of ideas can be copyrighted).
TikTok influencers are also recommended to read an Influencer Agreement to ensure that they have set the obligations and rights out clearly.
Influencer Agreement of TikTokers should include:
- What they include in their content.
- How often they post.
- The process prior to uploading content happens
- Who is the owner of the content created
- How you get paid
- If you need a Profit Share Agreement
The Future Of TikTok
TikTok in comparison to the other platforms such as Youtube, is too young. Youtube increased its regulations for reducing copyright violations and any other IP issues.
So the TikTok may follow the same process mentioned above in the future.