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Chinese-owned social media app TikTok has referred a copyright dispute with three European music licensing bodies to the UK’s Copyright Tribunal.
TikTok, an app which allows users to share short videos featuring songs, has grown rapidly in popularity over the past number of years.
While full details of the dispute are not yet available, the Copyright Tribunal disclosed that the referral relates to the terms of a licence between TikTok and International Copyright Enterprise Services (ICE).
ICE is a music licensing hub jointly owned by music rights owners the Performing Right Society (PRS), based in the UK; the Swedish Performing Right Society (STIM); and the Germany-based Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights (GEMA).
In a statement sent to TBO, an ICE spokesperson said: “The TikTok platform is unlicensed and ICE is disappointed an agreement for use of the millions of musical works belonging to the songwriters, composers and publishers we represent has not been reached before this point.”
“Organisations that use and benefit from music must take out a licence in order to do so. We look forward to representing our rightsholders' interests and securing appropriate value for the vast scale of usage of their repertoire on the platform,” the spokesperson added.
The statement added: “Our aim is that by following this legal process TikTok will agree a licence that fairly reflects the value of our rightsholders music.”
TikTok, Copyright Tribunal, PRS, STIM, GEMA, ICE, International Copyright Enterprise Services