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How to Promote TikTok Videos With Copyrighted Music

Published on 24.06.2024 by Tracey Chizoba Fletcher

One of the reasons why TikTok is so popular is because it allows the use of some of the most popular music tracks. However, you may try to upload a video but fail to do so because of what TikTok considers “copyrighted music”. 

This often raises two questions: which music is allowed, and which is copyright-protected? This article will guide you on everything you need to know about using TikTok videos with copyrighted music.

What is Copyrighted TikTok Music?

When artists create original music, they retain exclusive ownership of the songs. The rights give them the authority to film, print, record, perform, and publish the music. They also have the right to allow other people to use the song. This also means that when other people use the song without their express permission, they have a right to ask for the song to be taken down or, in extreme cases, take legal action against the person infringing on the copyright.

When a TikTok video is copyrighted, you don't have the right to use it. Therefore, the artists' work is legally protected, and they earn money when used. The amount they are paid depends on different factors, such as the musicians' popularity and the project's size.

So, how does copyrighted music affect you as a TikToker? You cannot use music without the artist's permission when copyrighted. If TikTok allows you to use a particular song, they have a licensing agreement with the recording label. However, even in such a case, you can only use a short snippet of the song and not the entire song.

If you want to use a whole track, you will need the artist's recording label’s permission.  Since it's hard to get artists like Taylor Swift, you must get creative if you have to use popular tracks on TikTok.

What is the Impact of Using Copyrighted Music on TikTok?

Whenever you post a video on TikTok, the platform checks if it is copyrighted. If you are allowed to use the song, you will not be in trouble. You can do that by selecting the songs the app allows or using copyright-free music. The consequences can be tough if you use a particular song without authority. TikTok has different ways of detecting copyrighted music in a video, so there is no way to escape their detectors. These include:

  • An automated system to detect copyrighted music in every video.
  • A content moderator to check if the content goes against the TikTok policy.
  • Users reporting cases of copyright infringement.

These are some reasons why TikTok is removing thousands of popular audio songs.

What Happens When You Get Copyright Claims on TikTok?

If this is your first time using copyrighted music in your videos, the platform can simply remove the videos. When that happens, you will be notified. You can then appeal if you believe you have the right to the song.

TikTok can impose stricter punishments if you have been reported several times. You can have your account suspended or permanently banned, and you might even be banned from opening an account. TikTok will usually issue a strike whenever you get a copyright infringement notice. When you receive three copyright infringements, your videos will be removed.

It's important to note that copyright and trademark infringement are counted separately. Therefore, your account will be banned when you get two copyright strikes and one trademark infringement. However, if your violation report is retracted or your appeal is approved, all copyright strikes will be removed from your record.

Types of Music Allowed in Branded TikTok Videos

While everyone should be careful about the types of TikTok music they use in their videos, you should be extra careful if you use them for monetary gains or in ads. Even when TikTok music is allowed on TikTok, it should not be for commercial use, such as affiliate marketing videos. Thus, when you use that kind of music commercially, it will be pulled down.

While TikTok has a dedicated commercial music library, only a few thousand tracks are allowed for use without limitation. The best way to use the latest trending music without limitation is to use copyright-free music.

Some sites have an incredible catalog of copyright-free music that can be used safely on TikTok videos. Some of these platforms even allow you to use the songs across different platforms, unlike the music found on the TikTok app.

How to Use Copyright Music On TikTok

TikTok is very strict regarding the use of copyrighted music. If you don't want to receive a strike on your videos, there are four ways to use copyrighted music. These are:

Using Your Original Tracks

If you are able to create an original track, this is a big accomplishment you should be proud of. Besides, you want to promote the song as much as possible. Therefore, you should promote the song by using it across different social media platforms, including TikTok.

There are several steps you can take to add a song to TikTok. These are:

  1. Record a high-quality song.
  2. Create a video and upload it to a third-party video editing software such as Filmora Pro or Capcut.
  3. Export the video using the recommended TikTok dimensions of 1080x1920.
  4. After exporting, open the TikTok app.
  5. Click on the Plus(+)  button.
  6. Choose your saved video.
  7. Tap Next. You are done.

Using your original music on TikTok has many benefits, such as having other users use the sound. This can go a long way in marketing the track. When someone uses the song in their videos, a clickable link with your name will be added to the song. This can provide more exposure to your music and make your TikTok videos go viral.

Using Public Domain Music

When a song's copyright expires, it is saved in the public domain. That means you don't need permission from the original creator to use the song. The transition usually happens after about 70 years from the original creator's passing. Some of the public domain music tracks include Happy Birthday, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

Creative Common Music

Some artists have no problem with other people using their music on their videos as long as they are given credit. However, when using videos with this kind of license, some artists may require you to use the Creative Common License. Therefore, before using the video, research the terms of use.

What Happens When You Wrongly Receive a Copyright Strike?

When your content is tagged for copyright infringement, you will be notified that it has been removed. If you believe the content was incorrectly flagged, you can raise an appeal with  TikTok. To do that, you can either:

  • Submit an appeal through the app.
  • Use the counter-notification form.

Ensure that you provide all the information required and any other evidence you may have. If your appeal goes through, your videos will be reinstated, and any strikes will be removed. Some of the valid reasons to appeal include:

  • If you posted content protected by freedom of speech.
  • You only used a small portion of the work rather than the entire video.
  • You didn't know that the use of the video was disallowed.
  • Other people are posting similar videos.
  • You aren't claiming to be the owner of the copyrighted video.

How to Avoid Copyright Claims On TikTok

If you want to remain in TikTok’s good book, there are three rules you should follow. These are:

Do I use copyrighted music in my content?

If your answer is yes, you need permission from the copyright holder. Failure to do so will result in music claims against you. Adding music from the TikTok library will generally be good. But if you are adding music from other sources, you should be extra careful. TikTok also has AI tracks that have become super popular.

Do I have permission to use the music?

You will be faced with copyright claims without permission to use the track. The easiest way to stay safe is to use copyright-free music.

Do I dispute the TikTok copyright claims?

As explained earlier, you can dispute the claims if you believe your content was incorrectly flagged for copyright infringement.


Music copyright infringement can have dire consequences for your videos. If you don't want your videos to be removed or your account permanently banned, you should avoid it as much as possible. The first step towards abiding by it is understanding how to promote TikTok videos using copyrighted music. By reading our guide, you can easily avoid copyrighted music and keep your TikTok account safe.