After a Month of War, Universal Music Group is Raising the Pressure on TikTok

The Drama Grows Between Universal Music Group and TikTok
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It has now been a whole month since Universal Music Group accused TikTok of using “bullying” tactics. In a scathing open letter, Universal Music Group alleged TikTok tried to force them to accept a lower-value deal related to AI protections and compensation.

As TikTok hit back, claiming the company was painting a “false narrative and rhetoric,” the world stopped and waited to see what happened next. This escalated to Universal Music Group removing songs from the platform. But as of Feb. 27, the drama has been taken up a notch.

Up until then, the TikTok ban only affected songs owned or distributed by the platform. But now, this blanket ban seems to have spread to include songs simply published by the company. This includes songs it only partially has a share in.

This means that recordings by artists who collaborated with a songwriter, producer, and other artist under contract at Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) are also being muted or removed from TikTok. 

As noted by Variety, some of the creators associated with UMPG include Harry Styles, Metallica, Elton John, Adele, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift, among others. Sources also told Variety that this fresh attack on UMPG-affiliated music is focused on their “Anglo-American” repertoire.

As for videos featuring these songs, they have to be either removed from the platform or muted. At this point, TikTok and Universal Music Group aren’t far off from reaching a stalemate. So it’s just a matter of seeing who surrenders first.

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