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The Student News Site of Darnell-Cookman Middle-High School

The Monitor

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The Student News Site of Darnell-Cookman Middle-High School

The Monitor

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The Student News Site of Darnell-Cookman Middle-High School

The Monitor

All Things Grad Bash
All Things Grad Bash
April 19, 2024

Taylor Swift, Drake, SZA, and many more UMG songs taken down from the Tiktok platform.

Taylor+Swift%2C+Drake%2C+SZA%2C+and+many+more+UMG+songs+taken+down+from+the+Tiktok+platform.
BTS & Drake; part of UMG company

TikTok is owned by the Chinese Company Bytedance and is a music-based platform that has been around since 2016. It is known for its high levels of engagement. It is also a platform where users can make and share any videos on any topic, whether it be skits, lip-syncs, dances, or any activities shared globally. TikTok has also been available in most countries around the world. China, for instance, has a separate version called “Douyin,” which is basically TikTok but includes content that appeals to the Chinese public. Since their launches, TikTok and Doyin have gained global popularity.

TikTok has faced challenges related to music licensing, leading to occasional removals or restrictions on certain sounds. Recently, on Wednesday, January 31st, TikTok made an announcement stating that any music therefore muting many edits and videos containing the songs from UMG artists, now triggering a variety of messages such as “this sound isn’t available” or “this music is currently unavailable” Some artists under the UMG company include popular western artists such as Taylor Swift to SZA to Bob Dylan. UMG has also posted an open letter complaining about “how little TikTok compensates artists and songwriters, despite its massive and growing user base, rapidly rising advertising revenue, and increasing reliance on music-based content.” The contract between TikTok and UMG expired on January 31st, with UMG claiming that TikTok had attempted to bully and intimidate them during the negotiation process. UMG further accused TikTok of allowing the platform to be flooded with AI-generated recordings and letting users profit from creating AI Music, as well as sponsoring artist replacement by AI.

In response to the situation at UMG, TikTok stated, “It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters. Despite Universal’s false narrative and rhetoric, the fact is they have chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent. TikTok has been able to reach ‘artist-first’ agreements with every other label and publisher. Clearly, Universal’s self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters, and fans.”

UMG has successfully taken down many of the songs that are produced by AI, such as taking action of the viral AI-generated Drake song and many Kanye West songs that were produced featuring Taylor Swift’s voice, which was taken down due to copyright claims last year. In an interview from The New Yorker, UMG CEO Lucian Grainge warned that unregulated AI-generated music could ruin the music industry. UMG may have upset the TikTok community, but users have found comical ways to go along with the new policy. For instance, users would make an edit that contains “royalty-free” music or cheesy song covers.

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TikTok user @dadazbaba stated, “To be honest, I was heartbroken when UMG removed basically half of the songs in TikTok, especially the edits, but surprisingly many editors and creators adapted to the new policy, now my FYP is just full of serious edits with goofy songs such as the 20th-century theme, sound effects from McDonalds, and Kevin Macleod music.”

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    Lilly Ross-MosleyFeb 14, 2024 at 10:23 am

    da da ba ba ? THE da da ba ba??

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