TikTok signs licensing agreement with NMPA

Video-sharing app, TikTok, has recently signed a multi-year agreement with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), which will finally end an ongoing battle of threats of legal action. The TikTok app consists of users uploading short videos, usually alongside a musical background, in the participation of any ongoing trends. The companies released a joint statement, outlining that the deal “accounts for TikTok’s past use of musical works and sets up a forward-looking partnership”.  Last year, the NMPA urged Congress to take reasonable action to investigate TikTok’s potential copyright theft, as the scale of their possible infringement was said to “deserve scrutiny”.

In other words, the agreement set in place will allow NMPA members to opt-in to a license, in order to benefit from use of their work on TikTok. The agreement aims to show respect towards creators of the musical content used on the video sharing app, as it gives them a way to be paid for their contribution towards the app’s popularity. Previously, TikTok operated on short-term licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group. However, it was also operating without any agreement in place, after their deal with Universal Music Group Publishing expired, over a year ago.

The popularity of the app has been hugely aided by the coronavirus pandemic, as users were able to spend more time at home. This generated the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter, during the first three months of 2020, with 315 million downloads. The global partnership agreement will minimise copyright infringement claims headed towards the company and most importantly it will financially reward creators for their contributions.

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