3 Count: Silent TikTok

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1: TikTok removes music from UMG artists, including Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift

First off today, Elizabeth Blair and Neda Ulaby at NPR reports that Universal Music Group has pulled its music from TikTok following a licensing dispute between the two companies.

A licensing agreement between Universal and TikTok ended on January 31. This meant that users could no longer select music from Universal artists, including Taylor Swift, BTS and Oliva Rodrigo, for use in their videos. Further, any existing videos with such songs would be muted.

In a statement, Universal claimed that TikTok was not compensating artists fairly and was being overrun with AI-generated recordings that were created with the help of TikTok. TikTok accused Universal of pushing “false narratives and rhetoric” and putting their own greed ahead of what was best for artists and songwriters.

2: UK Fails to Reach Consensus on AI Copyright Code in Major Blow to Artists

Next up today, Siôn Geschwindt at The Next Web reports that a consortium of stakeholders led by the United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have failed to reach a consensus on new rules to govern artificial intelligence system, a defeat that is widely seen as damaging to creators and rightsholders.

The consortium involved various tech companies involved in AI development as well as representatives of creative industries. They aimed to create a new voluntary code that AI companies would follow when training their models on human-created work. However, after nearly a year of negotiation, the parties have not been able to reach a consensus.

The collapse in negotiations sends the matter back to the Department for Science Innovation and Technology, which is seen as unlikely to pass any strong policies. As such, this is seen as a blow to creators, who fear having their work used to train AI systems without permission or compensation.

3: Artists Face $9m Penalty in Yuga Labs, Bored Ape Copyright Lawsuit

Finally today, Rony Roy at Crypto News reports that artists Ryder Ripps and Jeremy Cahen have suffered a major defeat in their ongoing case against the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT series as a new decision orders them to pay nearly $9 million in damages to the original creators.

The battle began in May 2022 when the artists released a series of NFTs entitled Ryder Ripps BAYC, which played off the original series. This prompted the lawsuit, which now the original creators have won, first securing a $1.57 million in damages for copyright and other infringement.

However, the latest judgement not only piles on more damages, but dismisses the artists’ counterclaims and orders them to destroy their derivative creations and turn over all their social media accounts connected to their series.

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