Sound On, Fear Off: Avoiding Copyright Claims on TikTok

words Al Woods

Avoiding Copyright TikTok

Avoiding copyright claims has always been important; however, with recent developments in the news, it is always good to be reminded of why it is important and how to protect yourself from any claims that may be made.

YouTube creators may have already experienced this when uploading content that does not belong to them. They have often seen their videos taken down because of the copyright relating to the content, whether this be in terms of the footage or the sounds used. Now, users of TikTok will need to be extra careful that they do not fall foul of copyright protections.

Recently, the label Universal Music Group decided to pull the plug on allowing the music they own the rights to be used on TikTok. This covers a plethora of the biggest artists, with Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Drake, and many more, meaning these artists’ tracks can no longer be used on the social media platform as audio for the videos created.

With that development having happened, it has brought back a focus on copyright law. It may not have been something many creators may have recognized as serious to consider when uploading their content in the past, but the move should have only emphasized the need to be careful.

Why do brands protect their copyrights so extensively?

Brands have always been very protective of their copyrights, as they are part of their business and often a significant part of their income revenue. In terms of the music industry, they can generate money based on the number of streams, sales, or how the music is used because it is owned by them, such as in advertisements.

While the music may be out there for everyone to listen to, brands do as much as possible to protect it from unauthorized use. While the exposure is free marketing, they want to ensure it is not used in a way that can be harmful to them as a business or the artists who have recorded the music.

How can you avoid copyright claims on TikTok?

Although recent developments can be frustrating for content creators as they may have an impact on the quality of the video being made, there are ways in which users can still use music to add greater appeal to the clips they make and post.

One of the best ways is to use free audio. Software that can provide royalty-free music that can be downloaded and used without limitations or restrictions is available. Some of the audio that can be found can be better than what is already out there in various ways, such as being unique or perhaps better fitting to the content that has been created.

Being able to use free audio that has been designed to be used in this manner can eliminate any potential infringements from being made, thus allowing the content to stay uploaded and not be taken down for copyright claims.

If the free audio route is not desirable or there is no suitable track, exploring other potential avenues can be possible. You could look to create your own sounds and use them freely (although others may be able to copy and use them if they are not copyrighted).

On the other hand, you might seek any other alternatives which offer permission to use the audio. You need to include a disclaimer in the description of the TikTok video, but usually, this is all that might be necessary if permission has been given for the track to be used.

What is the best way to avoid copyright claims on TikTok?

Replicating an artist’s sound when making content is easier and more attractive, but it is perhaps better to make your own sounds. Such sounds can be related specifically to your content and can be a big factor in the growth of your TikTok channel.

Do not forget that there is an opportunity to make use of royalty-free music (and video) to avoid receiving copyright claims, as these are specially created for free use by anyone.

On the other hand, if you are creative and can produce your own sounds and footage, it is always better to go that way. You will own the content solely, making it difficult for you to be sued for copyright claims.

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