Triller Solen Feyissa Unsplash

If you thought Donald Trump’s advisers’ attempts to overturn the US presidential election would be the most surprising legal arguments you’d hear in 2021… Well, Triller might just have, ahem, trumped them.

After Universal Music Group pulled its catalogue from the short video platform saying it had “shamefully withheld payments owed to our artists”, Triller hit back with what we’ll euphemistically describe as a novel spin on how recorded music licensing works. “Triller does not need a deal with UMG to continue operating as it has been since the relevant artists are already shareholders or partners on Triller, and thus can authorize their usage directly. Triller has no use for a licensing deal with UMG,” claimed its response statement, later adding: “UMG is well aware any agreement was just out of respect and courtesy, not necessity. We have been operating without it and there has been no change in our business.”

Oh, to be a fly on the wall the next time Triller’s licensing team are negotiating with UMG. Well, that’s if they ever get within a country mile of a negotiation with the major label after the last week’s blow-up.

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