Is a TikTok Copyright a Thing?

Updated October 17, 2023
12 min read
Is a TikTok Copyright a Thing?


Let's imagine the world of today's digital media like a bustling city, with streets crowded with users playing, creating, and sharing short video content. One platform rules this city — a global powerhouse known as TikTok.

So, is a TikTok copyright a thing? The answer is a resounding yes. The intersection of TikTok, creativity, and copyright laws is a tricky one, demanding a deeper understanding for content creators, rights holders, and platform administrators alike.

What If Your Content Is Removed?

Faced with a TikTok copyright claim leading to content removal? You'll be notified via the app if your material is removed due to a TikTok copyright infringement.

If this removal is incorrect, maybe because you hold the copyright or have the right to use the content, you can challenge the removal through TikTok's in-app appeal process. As an alternative, a Counter Notification Form is available for submitting appeals. Remember, your appeal needs to include all necessary information, including your contact details and any proof supporting your claim to avoid being turned down.

Generally, the following reasons aren't accepted for a TikTok copyright appeal without valid evidence:

  • Copying only a tiny part of the work, not the full.

  • Having several users uploading similar content.

  • Not claiming the copyright to the content.

  • Being unaware of not having permission to post the content.

  • Posting the content protected under the right to free speech.

When a TikTok copyright appeal is successful, your content will be reinstated. Imagine you posted a movie commentary video using a few snippets from the film. If you show that you own the copyright to the commentary and only use the film snippets for illustrative purposes, forming fair use, your appeal may be successful, and the video could be reinstated.

Is There a Permanent Strike on TikTok?

TikTok's Repeat Infringer Policy generates a strike against users whose content has been taken down due to a TikTok copyright infringement. Each user is allowed up to 3 strikes for each type of intellectual property (IP) violation before their account is permanently removed.

Strikes for different IP infringements such as copyright and trademark, are counted separately. So, if, for example, you get 2 strikes for TikTok copyright infringement and 2 for trademark infringement, your account won't be disabled. However, if you get 3 strikes for TikTok copyright infringement and 1 strike for trademark infringement, your profile will be removed.

Remember, TikTok retains the unilateral right to immediately suspend any account that breaches the Community Guidelines, in spite of the number of strikes accumulated.

Any strikes you've earned will automatically lapse from your record after 90 days. Situations may also arise where strikes are removed, such as when a TikTok copyright infringement report gets retracted or if your appeal is successful. For instance, if a musician mistakenly reports your use of their song, but then retracts the claim, realizing you had permission, the strike would be removed.


TikTok copyright can be likened to a tangled web of street signs guiding us through the pulsating metropolis of digital creativity. As TikTok continues to command the social media world, everyone involved — from the platform itself to the users and the rights holders — needs to commit to a journey of continuous learning, adaptation, and compliance with copyright laws.

For instance, a business looking to advertise its brand on TikTok needs to understand how TikTok copyright works to avoid legal issues. Consulting with lawyers who specialize in business-related issues can help navigate these complex waters.

If brands are considering using music or other content, they should follow the right legal protocols like using a trademark assignment template to ensure rightful ownership and avoid potential TikTok copyright issues.

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Use a template of trademark assignment to protect your IP

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Also, acquainting oneself with other business-related templates and documents could be beneficial, helping companies steer clear of future legal and TikTok copyright dilemmas. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I report a TikTok copyright infringement if I see one?

If you reckon that your copyrighted work, such as a piece of music or a unique dance routine, has been exploited on TikTok without your express permission, you can fill out and submit TikTok's Copyright Infringement Report form. This process raises a flag to TikTok, making them aware of the potential violation of your rights, and paves the way for appropriate action — like removing the offending video — to be taken.


What happens if I receive multiple TikTok copyright claims?

For users chronically disregarding others' copyrights — using copyrighted songs without permission, for example — there are repercussions. Based on TikTok's repeat infringer policy, consistent violators can face penalties ranging from temporary suspension to the outright termination of their TikTok accounts. 


Can I use copyrighted music on TikTok without facing TikTok copyright issues?

TikTok does feature a library of soundtracks that users can freely use in their videos. However, not all music finds its spot in this collection. Using songs that fall outside this provided list, say a latest chart-topping hit, without permission could induce a TikTok copyright claim. Thus, it is always prudent to first confirm whether a particular song is allowed to be used before you proceed with adding it to your video.