TikTok has referred licensing hub ICE and its three founders – PRS for Music, GEMA and STIM – to the UK’s Copyright Tribunal, in a dispute over licensing terms. The social app will have some expert help in its corner, it turns out.

“Exciting times ahead in a truly inspiring company! Thank you TikTok / Bytedance for the warm welcome,” wrote Dr Joern Radloff in a LinkedIn status update a month ago, after joining TikTok’s parent company as senior counsel: corporate development (music, content, intellectual property). In July, he added ‘head counsel music licensing, EMEA’ to his job title.

An “experienced copyright lawyer (PhD) and strategy consultant, equipped with deep insight in the music tech industry and business acumen derived from international strategy consultancies and the global expansion of music and video services as well as content rights holder entities” is just the person you’d need if you’re embarking on a potentially-thorny licensing dispute with collecting societies, eh? The kicker here being, as MBW was first to spot, that Bytedance actually hired Dr Radloff from ICE, where he’d spent the previous three and a half years as its head of rights & repertoire, having joined from GEMA.

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