TikTok Faces Copyright Challenges as the Current License Expires Soon

TikTok, also known as Douyin (抖音), is a series of media apps owned by ByteDance for creating and sharing short videos, which allow users to create short music videos of 3–15 seconds and short looping videos of 3–60 seconds. But with the upcoming expiry of ByteDance’s license agreements with three major music companies, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Time Warner Music Group, who control about 80% of the global music market, ByteDance may be forced to delete billions of videos from its apps and its users may no long be able to access the music owned by these music companies, in case the license cannot be renewed.


In 2018, China National Copyright Administration summoned 15 key short video platform companies in Beijing for meeting. Among them, the platform of TikTok took down a total of 751 audios and 5,284 videos, reset 81 users profiles, blocked 11,203 user accounts with serious infringement permanently and 4,140 accounts with minor infringement for a period of 6 months, which were detected through self-check or user compliant all for copyright reason.

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