We reported last week on TikTok signing short-term licensing deals with major labels, as a bridge to longer agreements at a later date. However, Bytedance’s social app still has some licensing headaches on the publishing side, and US body the National Music Publishers Association is threatening to make them worse.
According to the Financial Times, NMPA boss David Israelite described a lawsuit against TikTok by its members as a “likely future step”. Meanwhile, the obligatory unnamed ‘people familiar with the matter’ suggested that Universal Music Publishing Group had set TikTok a deadline of the weekend just gone to respond to its latest proposal over royalties, and “is weighing legal action if TikTok does not respond”.
TikTok has put out a statement: “We are proud to support the music industry with the thousands of licenses that we have in place. The details of any agreements or discussions between TikTok and our partners are confidential.” But as the leaks make very clear, publishers patience appears to be running out.
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I would think they should have foreseen this considering all the headaches YouTube has gone through. I expect the threat of legal action is simply to speed up the negotiations and leverage in the favor of the publishers. Interesting story.
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