Will Muted TikTok Videos Be Restored Now That Universal Music Group Has Reached a Licensing Agreement?

After months of back-and-forth, negotiation breakdowns, and DMCA copyright violation notices that could have potentially grown into more serious legal action, Universal Music Group and TikTok have finally reached a licensing agreement. Creators on the platform are now wondering what this means for their videos.

Videos by American Songwriter

“Will this restore sound to videos that got sound removed?” one creator asked on social media. Another fan had a theory, commenting, “I actually think it probably will as long as the audio was never replaced, because “muted” implies that the sound is simply turned off but its still possible it won’t come back.”

According to a press release, music by UMG-represented artists will be restored to TikTok within one to two weeks from the agreement. Videos that have been muted will be unmuted in that time, so creators can look forward to having their videos restored, as long as they haven’t replaced the music completely.

Additionally, TikTok will devote tools to removing AI-generated music. It will also work to improve artist attribution on the platform, making sure songs are properly credited to artists and songwriters.

[RELATED: Taylor Swift Personally Struck A Deal to Put Her Music Back on TikTok After UMG Negotiation Breakdown]

TikTok Creators Can Expect Their Muted Videos To Be Restored Soon as Agreement with UMG is Reached

This new agreement will allegedly benefit artists and creators in response to copyright violations and generative AI. The agreement will first utilize TikTok’s commercial and marketing tools to bring UMG artists to new audiences with promotional and engagement opportunities, according to the press release. It will also provide protections for artists and their music as concerns rise about AI.

“This new chapter in our relationship with TikTok focuses on the value of music, the primacy of human artistry and the welfare of the creative community,” said CEO of UMG, Lucian Grainge. “We look forward to collaborating with the team at TikTok to further the interests of our artists and songwriters and drive innovation in fan engagement while advancing social music monetization.”

CEO of TikTok, Shou Chew, also made a statement. “Music is an integral part of the TikTok ecosystem, and we are pleased to have found a path forward with Universal Music Group,” he said. “We are committed to working together to drive value, discovery and promotion for all of UMG’s amazing artists and songwriters, and deepen their ability to grow, connect and engage with the TikTok community.”

Creators on Twitter/X wondered about how this will work if TikTok is banned in the U.S., as Congress has given parent company ByteDance nine months to sell TikTok before a total ban is put in place, according to a report from AP News. So far, there are no real answers to that question, as we must wait to see what happens to the company before drawing any conclusions about the future of UMG’s music on the platform.

Featured Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images

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