NMPA president and CEO David Israelite has accused TikTok of copyright infringement in the US.
Israelite has made public his concerns of “copyright theft” in a letter to Senator Marco Rubio. The NMPA is calling for the US Congress to investigate TikTok’s licensing as part of any probe into the Chinese platform.
“The scale of TikTok’s copyright infringement in the US is likely considerable and deserves scrutiny,” said Israelite. “We hope that if Congress looks further into matters relating to TikTok that copyright theft is included in the scope of its examination.”
He added: “In addition to important censorship concerns, it appears that TikTok has consistently violated U.S. copyright law and the rights of songwriters and music publishers. Many videos uploaded to TikTok incorporate musical works that have not been licensed and for which copyright owners are not being paid.”
Israelite’s intervention was in response to Rubio’s letter to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling for an investigation into TikTok by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
The video-sharing platform has grown in popularity in the US and Europe following last year’s amalgamation of TikTok and Musical.ly by new owner ByteDance. TikTok was a hot topic at this month’s Music Week Tech Summit.
A TikTok spokesperson told Music Week: “TikTok has broad licensing coverage across the music publishing industry covering many thousands of publishers and songwriters and millions of copyrights, and has paid royalties since its inception. The platform has spurred the success of artists and songwriters worldwide through its viral meme culture, driving chart hits and building household names. We are proud to engage with and support the music community.”