TikTok held liable for unlicensed content in Germany

The Music Industry Reacts to German Court Ruling Holding TikTok Liable for Unlicensed Content

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In a recent ruling in the German courts involving TikTok, changes to the copyright safe harbor made under the 2019 EU Copyright Directive were enforced, resulting in TikTok being held liable for unlicensed content uploaded by its users. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by a Berlin film distributor, which alleged that TikTok failed to make the “necessary best efforts” to secure a license from the relevant copyright owner.

Implications for TikTok and Universal Music Negotiations

This ruling is particularly significant in light of the breakdown of licensing negotiations between TikTok and Universal Music. It clarifies European copyright law in a way that could have consequences for TikTok if it fails to reach a new deal with the major music company.

Impact on TikTok’s Music Library and Universal Music Tracks

As a result of the breakdown of licensing talks, Universal Music released tracks are being removed from TikTok’s music library. If no new deal is agreed upon, the dispute will also mean that Universal published songs will be blocked, which will have repercussions for other labels.

CEO Robert Kyncl’s Perspective

Speaking to investors on a call about Warner Music’s Q4 earnings, CEO Robert Kyncl emphasized the growing importance of major music companies in the face of advancing technology. He expressed confidence in the resolution of the current dispute between Universal and TikTok, anticipating the agreement of a new licensing deal.

UK Parliament’s ‘Misogyny in Music’ Report

In addition to the developments involving TikTok and Universal Music, there is also the UK Parliament’s ‘Misogyny In Music’ report that calls for new legislation to end the cycle of harassment and abuse in the “boys’ club” industry. This report reflects the ongoing challenges and conversations surrounding gender equality and representation in the music industry.

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Welcome from the Music Industry

The music industry has welcomed the recent ruling in the German courts, as it signifies a stronger enforcement of changes to the copyright safe harbor under the 2019 EU Copyright Directive. It emphasizes the importance of securing licenses from the relevant copyright owners and upholding the rights of content creators.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the recent ruling in the German courts holding TikTok liable for unlicensed content marks a significant development in European copyright law. It has implications for the ongoing negotiations between TikTok and Universal Music and underscores the importance of upholding copyright laws in the digital age. As the industry continues to navigate these complex issues, the need for fair and equitable agreements between platforms and rights holders remains a priority.

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