TikTok is a thriving player in the world of social medias that keeps growing and exceeding its competitors. But since it’s so new, rules about copyright and the use of music tend to be blurry, just like on other platforms at their beginning (like YouTube). Thus, you might be curious about what you’re allowed to do on that app, which music you’re allowed to use and how. So, without further ado, let’s see how to use music on TikTok!

Copyright and legal terms on TikTok

TikTok does not allow you to do whatever you want with any music, and they actually care about copyright matters according to their official legal statement. When it comes to intellectual property, TikTok seems to be clear that they want to respect the owners’ rights. Basically, their model is pretty similar to YouTube’s. If a content on their platform constitutes a copyright infringement, TikTok allows itself to remove that content, and even to suspend or terminate the account in question. The user that infringed copyrights will receive a notification. On the other hand, the owner can file a copyright infringement report. That way, TikTok wants both parties to communicate so they can settle the dispute quickly. As on YouTube, users can also dispute a copyright claim on TikTok.

Using copyrighted music on TikTok

If you know TikTok, you probably read those previous lines and thought “How is that even possible? There are only Billboard Top 50 songs on that app”. And yes, you’re right. In fact, it’s pretty easy to use copyrighted music on TikTok. It’s actually the whole point of that app, lip synching and dancing to the latest hit. How is it possible? TikTok allegedly signed different agreements with major music publishing companies so that the use of their music can be done legally on that app. When you’re on TikTok, all the songs you can find through the official music section can be legally used. That way you can do the latest challenge trend facing no copyright issue.

Moreover, you could say that TikTok is not the most observant company regarding copyright issues. Just like on other video sharing platforms, the detection of illegal use of copyrighted music is not perfect. To give you an idea, in 2019, TikTok received 3,345 copyright takedown notices, and effectively removed 85% of the videos flagged. In comparison to that figure, there were an average number of 1 million videos viewed every day in a year (in 2019). So, you see that copyrights rules on TikTok are not as strict as it can be on YouTube for example.

TikTok has restricted the use of music by businesses to royalty-free

However, things have changed recently for businesses on TikTok. Brands who advertise on the platform are now restricted to a much shorter list of music they’re allowed to use. Those tracks are part of a commercial music library created by TikTok for advertising. That change aimed to keep a sense of authenticity and creativity on the app. That way, you see that regulation is starting to get tougher in terms of use of copyrighted work. And things will surely change even more in the future.

In conclusion, you see that the use of copyrighted music on TikTok is pretty free for now, for individual users. But it’s already trickier for businesses and brands to use music as they want it for their communication. See you soon for more articles on TikTok!

Looking for trendy music to use legally for advertising campaigns, check out this Feelgood Pop Playlist from BAM Music!