Choosing music licensing is a key step in the process of distributing and promoting your music. It’s a legal necessity if you intend to use your music for commercial purposes. However, choosing the right license can be tricky. Using the wrong license can leave you open to lawsuits.
Commercial vs non-commercial use
Earlier this year, TikTok announced changes to its rules regarding commercial vs non-commercial use of music. This change will only affect business accounts and not personal ones. The move isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it means more business for the platform. As long as your brand is licensed to use the songs you want to include, it’s likely you’ll be able to take advantage of the platform without having to pay a fortune for licensing.
There’s a bit of a catch, though. In the past, TikTok users were able to use mainstream music to promote their videos, even if it was unlicensed. But now, the company has limited its offerings. There are two main music libraries: one for ordinary users and another for businesses.
The first, the ordinary user library, offers a large selection of popular music, but it’s not for commercial use. Luckily, there is a more comprehensive solution: a royalty free library. These music files are provided by sound publishers and creators, such as Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and The Elements Music. They’re designed to make it easy for people to find new musical content. They also ensure that fees are paid to rights holders.
Compared to the ordinary user library, the TikTok Commercial Music Library (CML) is a smaller selection but it’s got a trick up its sleeve. It won’t include music that is going viral, but it does have some of the most interesting pieces of content available on the platform.
In the meantime, there’s still plenty of time for brands to find the right music licenses before using their own. However, it’s important to remember that adding music to your TikTok video isn’t as simple as uploading a song. You’ll have to work with a legal department to get all the details. If you’re not using a safelisting method, you may end up with a lawsuit on your hands.
The TikTok Commercial Music Library isn’t yet available to personal accounts, but it’s coming in early 2020. There are also several perks to the service, including a free music library and sound effects. The library features licensed tracks from some of the most famous record labels.
It’s worth noting that the company has signed licensing deals with the major US record labels, including Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. In fact, the app’s new music library is a good place to start.
In addition to the aforementioned Commercial Music Library, the app offers a sound effects library and partnerships with six sound publishers. For example, The Elements Music is a certified partner and creates custom sounds to be used on the site. You can also upload your own sounds, but you’ll have to mute them in order to repost. The best part is that you won’t have to worry about being hit with DMCA takedown notices.
Copyright laws in Australia
Using music for TikTok videos may not be illegal in many cases. However, copyright laws require you to be aware of potential infringements. There are some things you can do to avoid violating the law, as well as some legal options if you do decide to use copyrighted material.
The first way to avoid copyright infringement is to never upload or use copyrighted content. Generally, you don’t have to obtain permission from the owner of the copyright, but you can avoid the legal pitfalls by ensuring you don’t use any content without their permission. You can also ensure you have the correct licenses for the music you’re using. For example, TikTok’s licensing agreements are broad, covering artists, songwriters, and publishers. These agreements often pay royalty payments to rights holders, but don’t necessarily require individual authorization.
Another way to avoid copyright infringement is to use only content you created yourself. While you can’t guarantee you’ll never get a takedown notice, you can always hire a lawyer to review your content and make sure you’re following all of your obligations.
A third way to avoid copyright infringement is to take advantage of TikTok’s commercial music library. This library contains songs that are already licensed and pre-cleared, but it doesn’t contain the top hits. The commercial library is designed for verified businesses. If you’re an artist, it’s worth checking with your lawyer to be sure your work is protected.
You should also be familiar with the fair use doctrine. This legal rule permits the use of copyrighted material for certain, non-commercial, non-profit purposes. This may be the case if you’re performing a small part of a work, such as the lyrics to a song. It could also be the case if you’re using commentary or factual content. In some cases, you might be able to use the entire work, but only in limited situations.
Similarly, you should be aware of other exceptions that may apply to TikTok videos. These include the fair dealings exemption, which is a United States law, and the European Union’s copyright directive. In other countries, there are also exceptions to copyright law. If you’re posting MA15+ content, you could be breaking the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.
Finally, you should be aware of the DMCA. This is an American law that regulates the use of copyrighted material on the Internet. If you’re using a TikTok account for your business, you need to be able to show that you are obtaining a license to use copyrighted material. If you believe you have infringed on a copyright, you can send a DMCA takedown notice to the TikTok customer service team. You can find the instructions for doing so on the DMCA website.
The APRA AMCOS agreement between TikTok and Australia’s record industry is the largest of the three and is an acknowledgement of the work of publishers and songwriters. Moreover, it legitimizes the use of music in Australia.
ByteDance’s ambitions in music
Across the globe, people are using ByteDance apps to shape their lives. As a result, ByteDance is building a diversified portfolio of products, from games and messaging to music and education. Currently, ByteDance is best known for its flagship app TikTok. However, ByteDance is working to expand into new markets. For instance, ByteDance has tried to build a Spotify-like music streaming service for Chinese consumers. The company has also staffed up around the world to support these goals.
ByteDance is also planning to roll out a music streaming service in China later this year. While the product hasn’t yet been named, it’s internally called “Luna.” ByteDance is working to onboard advertisers and content creators. The company is also looking at traditional e-commerce outside of China. The company has also launched a low-end Android handset in China. The handset will come preloaded with ByteDance apps.
In July, ByteDance began testing Galaxy Ark, a music distribution platform that aims to help independent musicians manage their catalog. ByteDance hired the former head of Disney+ to lead the global licensing effort. Tracy Gardner has been a senior vice president of global business development for Warner Music Group and worked on music publishing for Universal Music Group. In addition to overseeing the label licensing program, Gardner supports commercial relationships with the company’s record label partners.
ByteDance has also been working to launch Resso, a music streaming service based on the popularity of TikTok. The service, which has been tested in India, Indonesia, and Brazil, is aiming to expand into additional countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Although ByteDance hasn’t decided whether it will offer Resso in the U.S., the company is planning on launching in more countries in the next year.
ByteDance is planning to hire over ten thousand employees for its education initiatives this year. The company hasn’t yet defined how many of those employees will work in music, but the company hopes to bring in a third of all the new hires in this area in 2019. In addition, ByteDance has invested approximately $1 billion in mobile gaming assets in the last year.
The company is also experimenting with a self-serve ad manager. The service performs on par with other programmatic channels. The company has not yet developed paid-courses or an AI-based tutor. Eventually, ByteDance may also integrate live karaoke into its product. Ultimately, the company hopes to develop a cross-product creator tool that will enable users to use multiple ByteDance products at once.
ByteDance’s ambitions in music are likely to include collaborations with independent artists and music licensing deals. While the company has a lot of staff in Asia and South Asia, ByteDance is working to onboard European advertisers. The company has also partnered with BBC to produce content for its app.