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Universal artists return to TikTok as dispute comes to an end | Ents & Arts News

Universal Music and TikTok have settled a dispute over royalties after the label removed millions of songs from the social media platform.

The new licensing agreement covers songs from some of the world’s biggest artists, including drake, Adele And Billie Eilish will return to the site for use within the next two weeks.

Tick ​​tock, a short-form video app, is a valuable marketing and promotional tool for music stars. But in January, Universal claimed that it was paying artists and songwriters “a fraction” of the rate offered by similar social media platforms, and announced that it is retiring its catalog.

Billie Eilish at the Oscars 2024. Image: Reuters
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Billie Eilish is also one of Universal’s artists. Image: Reuters

Universal is the largest music label in the world and also oversees Taylor Swift -WHO allowed a selection of her songs to return to TikTok while promoting her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, In April. According to the Financial Times, through her deal with Universal in 2018, Swift owns the copyright to her recordings and can control where her songs are available.

The companies now say they have reached a “new multi-dimensional” licensing agreement that will deliver “significant industry-leading benefits” to Universal’s artists and labels.

In a joint statement, TikTok said it would continue to invest resources in “building artist-centric tools” and work to strengthen online safety protections for artists and their fans.

The AI ​​problem

Image: AP
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Drake, another Universal artist, has already had his voice cloned for AI tracks. Image: AP

The agreement means that all muted videos will be unmuted. It’s been just over three months since Universal published an open letter criticizing TikTok and calling for higher payments for artists and songwriters, protection from the “harmful effects” of AI and online security.

In their joint statement, the companies now say they will work together to ensure AI development across the industry “protects human artistry and the economies that benefit these artists and songwriters.”

They will also work to remove unauthorized AI-generated music from the platform, as well as work on tools to improve artist and songwriter attribution, the statement said.

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Universal chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge said the “new chapter” focuses “on the value of music, the primacy of human art and the well-being of the creative community,” while TikTok CEO Shou Chew added: “Music is an integral part of the TikTok ecosystem and we are pleased to have found a path forward with Universal Music Group.”

Concern about AI has increased in the creative community. In April last year A song featuring Drake and The Weeknd’s cloned voices has been removed from streaming sites after it went viral.

On Tuesday, British singer-songwriter and producer FKA Twigs told a US Senate hearing how she created her own digital clone – but condemned the unauthorized use of her voice and image.

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On Wednesday, a poll by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Music found that 83% of adults in the UK believe a music artist’s creative “personality” should be protected by law from AI copies, and 77% believe that this amounts to theft. The generated music does not recognize the author of the original.

In April, More than 200 artists have signed an open letter speaking out against the “predatory” use of AI to “steal the voices and likenesses of professional artists.”

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