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Last updated on: September 20, 2023
With over a billion daily active users, TikTok is now one of the biggest and fastest-growing social media platforms in the world. But the growth in TikTok’s audience and content has also led to growing copyright infringement cases.
As of today, TikTok does not automatically detect or takedown copyright infringed content. It wants TikTok users or brands to actively monitor the content themselves and report it to the platform. But how do you even go about it?
In this article, we discuss:
TikTok’s Copyright Policy and Community Guidelines prohibit any kind of content that infringes on third-party intellectual property. The use of copyrighted content by others on TikTok without their knowledge, proper authorization, or a legally valid reason can lead to a violation of the platform’s policies.
TikTok also accepts takedown requests based on copyright law violations like Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Also, it’s important to note that TikTok only reviews takedown notices from copyright owners, their attorneys, or agencies only.
The entire concept of TikTok involves users selecting sound bytes of music to make fun videos for attaining popularity and potentially making money from it. The songs available in the TikTok music library are copyrighted and licensed, and they are completely legal to use. But TikTok also has an option that allows users to add their own sounds and in most cases, this is where most copyright infringement happens.
But TikTok copyright infringement goes far beyond music. Here are some common examples of copyright infringement on TikTok:
TikTok allows users to repost any content they want. If the reposted content is infringed, it would only get taken down by the platform when the copyright owners directly ask it to be taken down.
Yes, in accordance with US law, much of TikTok’s copyright content may be usable under the fair use doctrine. TikTok is also protected by permitted acts of fair dealing in the European Union (and other equivalent exceptions that might fall under local laws in other countries).
It allows people to use even unauthorized copyright works under certain conditions and circumstances like criticism, commentary, research, and scholarship.
Whether or not a use is deemed fair or not, is usually determined on a case-to-case basis but it does leave a wide room for speculation.
As mentioned above, TikTok is not actively looking for copyright infringing videos. It is up to the users and brands to look for the infringed content themselves and report it to the platform.
Here are the steps to report a copyright infringement to TikTok:
1- Open up the copyright infringement form
To report copyright infringement and get the alleged content removed from TikTok, you have to first fill up the Copyright Infringement Form with all the details that TikTok might need to review your case.
2- Enter your basic information
The next step is to add basic information about yourself, including your full name, the copyright owner’s name, your email address, your physical address, and your phone number. TikTok may share your contact information with the person who has posted the alleged infringed content. So, make sure to only provide your business email and office number for safeguarding.
3- Provide copyright ownership proof
The next step is to prove to TikTok that you or the person on whose behalf you are filing the copyright infringement form, owns the copyright of the content in question. Ideally, the copyright owner will be required to upload documents to show proof of authority like a certificate license agreement. You can also submit screenshots of the original content. In case your counterfeit products are being sold on TikTok, you can share screenshots of the original product listings.
If you are filling out the form on behalf of the copyright owner, then you will also have to upload a copy of the power of attorney or just a signed statement from the copyright owner to establish your relationship with them.
4- Provide details about the copyright infringing content on TikTok
Add details about the copyright infringing content including the URL of the particular TikTok and the type of copyright work. You can use the description box here to present your argument about how the content infringes on your copyright and why it needs to be taken down.
5- Agree to the terms and submit the form
The final step is to agree to the terms set out by TikTok which include acknowledging that the information you have shared in the form may be shared with the user you are reporting for copyright infringement, or even a third party.
After receiving the report, TikTok may come back to you for additional information.
If TikTok accepts your form, the infringed content will eventually get taken down and even the user’s account may even get suspended. In case TikTok rejects your copyright claim, you can still re-submit the form with more information.
It can take a lot of time and immense effort to constantly track down bad actors on TikTok trying to infringe your brand’s copyrighted content, and report them all separately. With the sheer amount of content being shared online, brand protection on social media is only getting more and more challenging by the day.
Red Points makes this entire process easy for you by leveraging its anti-piracy software that tracks and reports copyright infringing content on TikTok round the clock, files copyright infringement forms on your behalf, follows up on the submitted forms, and makes sure the infringed content gets removed from TikTok as soon as possible.
Here’s how it works:
Track: Our TikTok copyright protection experts, bot-power search, and self-improving machine learning algorithm work together to constantly look for copyright infringement anywhere online.
Delete: Our software automatically de-indexes and sends removal requests to different platforms. Our piracy experts also go a step forward to pursue out-of-court actions.
Report: You can access real-time reports and dashboards to identify copyright infringement trends
With TikTok’s growing popularity and user base, it’s become a hotspot for copyright infringement, and brands just cannot afford to ignore it anymore. Not only is it important to establish your official presence on TikTok but you also need to constantly monitor the platform for bad actors, cybersquatters, and unauthorized content and immediately report it to TikTok.