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Universal Music Group removes music From TikTok

The popular music-centered app is now denying access to many creators who want to use copyrighted songs.
As+of+Jan.+31%2C+TikTok+videos+that+previously+incorporated+UMGs+music+see+a+notification+that+reads%2C+Sound+removed+due+to+copyright+restrictions.
Photo by Ja’Nyah Villa
As of Jan. 31, TikTok videos that previously incorporated UMG’s music see a notification that reads, “Sound removed due to copyright restrictions.”

Effective February 1, the Universal Music Group (UMG) has removed its music from TikTok.

Early Thursday, Tiktok confirmed that Universal would remove music from the app. According to UMG, this was due to unfair compensation and failure to come to an agreement over the renewal of music licensing. The music-centered app will no longer be allowed to use tracks from major artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, and more. 

Universal Music Group posted an “open letter” to artists on their website, where they explained that the end of their music being on TikTok is beneficial. According to the letter, their artists will not be scammed out of a fair paycheck.

“TikTok’s tactics are obvious: use its platform power to hurt vulnerable artists and try to intimidate us into conceding to a bad deal that undervalues music and shortchanges artists and songwriters as well as their fans,” Universal Music Group said in their letter. 

Additionally, the uptick in AI-generated content on TikTok has been a source of concern, as per the letter, for executives at UMG.

“On AI, TikTok is allowing the platform to be flooded with AI-generated recordings—as well as developing tools to enable, promote and encourage AI music creation on the platform itself – and then demanding a contractual right which would allow this content to massively dilute the royalty pool for human artists, in a move that is nothing short of sponsoring artist replacement by AI,” Universal Music Group said.

TikTok responded to the accusations with a statement shared in the app newsroom, alleging that UMG chose to remove itself from the partnership for selfish reasons.

“It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters. Despite Universal’s false narrative and rhetoric, the fact is they have chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent,” TikTok said.

Though users at West Chicago Community High School – and online – are unsure which group is telling the truth, they can see, when scrolling through the app, that some audios on their profiles have been removed or muted, which causes frustration for many.

“It makes the app a lot less fun and entertaining, especially because they took the more popular/trendy sounds away,” WCCHS sophomore Olivia Simmons said.

 

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About the Contributor
Ja’Nyah Villa, Senior Reporter
Ja'Nyah is a sophomore this year and in her first semester of Journalism production. She is very driven and dedicated to her schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Outside of Journalism, Ja'Nyah is an active member of Wego Drama and her hobbies include reading and listening to music. In the future, Nyah hopes to pursue a career in literary editing or journalism after college.
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  • Mr. AielloFeb 6, 2024 at 10:56 am

    Good for them. It’s a shame that TikTok is selfishly pushing AI. You have to wonder how this will continue to impact the music industry going forward.

  • ryFeb 4, 2024 at 9:46 pm

    the tiktok edits don’t hit the same anymore