Tech vs Content: Behind the TikTok Fight With UMG Over Music Rights

The music giant pulled its IP from the social media giant – who will blink first?

Taylor Swift, Tik Tok featured image

Late last week, TikTok users woke up to the unthinkable — no sound to many of their favorite music artists like Taylor Swift and no way to add that music to their own videos. Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s largest music company, had pulled the plug on the sound of up to three million videos using its recordings

The move didn’t just mean that UMG artists went silent. Because UMG’s publishing arm (Universal Music Publishing Group or UMPG) helped yank that chord, and it represents four million songs itself, the action effectively mutes the videos of recording artists on other labels if UMPG songwriters helped write their underlying songs.


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