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Can you stop people from using your song on TikTok?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2022 | Intellectual Property

One of the most popular things to do on TikTok is to make lipsync videos. People will play the actual audio from a song, but then they’ll record a video of themselves singing along. Sometimes there will be words on the screen or other effects. They do this simply to be creative, to spread a message to their followers, or for many other reasons. 

However, most people who do this don’t actually own the songs that they’re using. It’s not as if they are recording the song first and then making the video over it. They’re just taking someone else’s song. 

So, if you see that one of your songs is showing up on TikTok, but you don’t want it to happen, can you stop them?

TikTok has been sued in the past

It depends on how your music was recorded and published. TikTok was not good about adhering to copyright laws at first when the app was still very new, and the company ended up getting sued. They then changed their strategy to partner with major music companies. One example is Sony.

So, if you’re signed to a major label, then they may already have an agreement with TikTok authorizing people to use your music. But if you’re on a smaller label or if you’re putting your music out independently, then TikTok’s official position is that they do not allow copyright violations. Accounts that violate this may be banned or removed from the app.

This can get incredibly complex, however, and you may already feel like you’ve lost control of your intellectual property once it’s on the app. If something like this does happen to you, you need to know what steps to take