Social media app TikTok has taken a pan-European music publishers group to the UK Copyright Tribunal over claims its content is unlicensed.
TikTok allows users to upload video content of them lip-syncing to songs, among other content. The app's users can access clips of popular tv shows, songs, and films. It has gained a reputation for being used by younger internet users.
ICE, a joint venture between various European music rights groups, has taken issue with the app, claiming the platform doesn’t hold licences for copyright content easily accessed on its site.
An ICE statement refers to the platform as “unlicensed” and says that it is “disappointed an agreement for the use of the millions of musical works belonging to the songwriters, composers and publishers we represent has not been reached before this point”.
The statement reads: “Organisations that use and benefit from music must take out a licence in order to do so. We look forward to representing our rights holders' interests and securing appropriate value for the vast scale of usage of their repertoire on the platform.”
“Our aim is that by following this legal process TikTok will agree a licence that fairly reflects the value of our rights holders music.”
TikTok says it has asked the UK Copyright Tribunal to “help us reach a reasonable outcome”.
A TikTok spokesperson said it has been “in active and extended negotiations with ICE”.
The spokesperson commented: “We look forward to continuing the conversation with ICE and reaching an agreement that furthers the opportunity for artists and songwriters on the platform."
"As a platform for unique and original creative content, we place a high value and respect upon intellectual property rights, and we work closely with music rights holders to protect a library of sound on the platform which is available for users to infuse in their own short videos.”