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How To Use Copyrighted Music on TikTok in 2024

TikTok doesn't allow you to use copyrighted music in your posts, but there are ways to get around this rule. Whether you're using original tracks or another creator's content, you can use copyrighted music on TikTok following these guidelines. 
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How to Use Copyrighted Music on TikTok
Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

TikTok has strict rules about using copyrighted material that isn’t the user’s original work.

To avoid possible strikes, you can use original or public-domain songs or those with a Creative Common license. 

Users can also use copyrighted songs within TikTok’s music library.

What Does Copyright Mean?

When an artist creates content, they retain exclusive legal ownership of it. This right means they have the authority to film, print, perform, record, or publish their own music and authorize others to do the same. It also means that if another person uses their music without permission, they have the right to take it down and, in extreme cases, take legal action. 

How To Use Copyright Music on TikTok

When it comes to using copyrighted music on TikTok, the platform is very strict about what it does and does not allow. There are four ways that you can use music in your posts without receiving a strike, being removed from the app, or getting sued. 

1. Use Your Original Music

Creating original music is a huge accomplishment and one you are definitely proud of. It goes without saying that you want to promote your tracks on all of your social media accounts, including TikTok. To use original music on TikTok, you can upload it as a sound within your videos.

To Upload Your Music as a Sound on TikTok:

Step #1: Create a high-quality recording of your song

Recording Your Song

Step #2: Create a video on your phone and upload it into a third-party editing software like Final Cut Pro or iMovie.

Create a Video

Step #3: Overlay your song on top of the video and save.

Overlay Your Song

Step #4: Export the video (be sure to use the right TikTok dimensions, (1080 x 1920.)

1080 x 1920

Step #5: Once exported, Open the TikTok app.

Step #6: Click the (+) button.

(+) Button

Step #7: Select your saved video.

Select Video

Step #8: Tap the Next.

Next

One of the advantages of uploading your original music as a sound on TikTok is that other users can use it for their own videos, which is an invaluable form of marketing. Whenever someone uses your sound, a clickable link with your name on it is inserted into the video, which leads them to more of your content!

2. Using Public Domain Music

When the copyright on a song expires, it becomes public domain, and anyone can use it without permission from the original creator. This transition usually happens around 70 years after the original creator passes away. Examples of public domain music include “Happy Birthday” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” 

3. Using Creative Common Music

Some artists choose to use a Creative Common License on their music, allowing anyone to use it on any platform as long as they give credit to the original creator. It is important to note that some artists require you to add a Creative Common License to your own video if you choose to use one of their tracks, so be sure to research the music before posting to ensure you use it properly. 

What Happens If I Use Copyrighted Music on TikTok?

In order to protect creators, TikTok takes the illegal use of copyrighted material on its platform very seriously. If you add music that isn’t yours or you don’t have permission to use it, the platform will take your video down, and you may receive a cease and desist letter. TikTok issues a strike for every copyright infringement a user gets, and after three violations, they will remove the account.

It is important to note that copyright and trademark infringements are counted separately, so if you receive two copyright strikes and one trademark strike, your account won’t be taken down. After 90 days, if the violation report is retracted or if the platform approves your appeal, TikTok will remove all copyright strikes from your record.

What If I Receive A Copyright Strike Incorrectly?

If your content is tagged for copyright infringement, you will get a notification that it has been removed. If you believe TikTok incorrectly removed your content, you can submit an appeal either on the app or through the Counter Notification Form. You can then input all the requested information and evidence supporting your claim, and if approved, the content will be reinstated. 

Valid Reasons For an Appeal Include:

  • The posted content is protected under freedom of speech.
  • Only a small section was used, not the entire work
  • You were unaware you weren’t allowed to post the content
  • Other users are posting similar content
  • You don’t claim to be the owner of the copyrighted content

Frequently Asked Questions

Does TikTok Check For Copyright?

TikTok does automatically check posted videos for copyrighted material, but it also allows other users to check if videos contain copyrighted sounds.

How Do I Get Copyright Permission?

To get permission to use a copyrighted song, follow these steps: research if you need to get permission > Identify the original creator > Determine what rights are needed > Contact the creator and negotiate terms and payment > Get in writing the terms and permission agreement.

How Much of a Song Can You Use Without Copyright?

Technically, using any part of another creator's song without permission is considered copyright infringement; however, you can usually get away with using up to thirty seconds. There is no agreed-upon length, so use any amount of copyrighted material at your own risk.

Conclusion

Using music on TikTok is a great way to make your content stand out, but you can get in trouble if you don’t have the original creator’s permission. You can use copyrighted material if you own it, use Creative Common Licensed songs, or receive direct permission from the original creator.

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