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What is copyright? • How to obtain copyright protection • Can you post another person's copyrighted content on TikTok without their permission? • What to do if your copyright has been infringed on TikTok • What happens after a copyright infringement claim has been submitted to TikTok? • What to do if your content has been incorrectly removed for copyright infringement • Does TikTok give strikes for repeated copyright infringements? • How to avoid having your content removed for copyright infringement
What is copyright?
Copyright is a legal right that protects original works of authorship, such as videos and music. Copyright protects an original expression of an idea (for example, the specific way a video or music is expressed or created) but does not protect underlying ideas or facts.
How to obtain copyright protection
Typically, if you create an original work, then you'll automatically obtain copyright protection.
Copyright protection only extends to original expressions. It doesn't extend to ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts. For example, a person may own the copyright to a film, but not the underlying plot or themes that are expressed in the film.
There is generally no requirement to register a work in order to obtain copyright protection, although doing so may facilitate dispute resolution in certain jurisdictions.
Can you post another person's copyrighted content on TikTok without their permission?
Our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines do not allow posting, sharing, or sending any content that violates or infringes upon another party’s copyrights, trademarks or other intellectual property (IP) rights. This includes the use of another person's copyrighted content without proper authorization or legally valid reasons.
Under certain circumstances, you may be legally permitted to use another person's copyrighted content without their permission. This includes fair use and exceptions to copyright such as quotation, criticism and/or review of the copyrighted content.
What to do if your copyright has been infringed on TikTok
If you believe that another user has infringed your copyright on TikTok, you may directly contact the user to resolve the matter. Alternatively, you may submit a Copyright Infringement Report to request the removal of the alleged infringing content from TikTok.
To report intellectual property infringement on TikTok:
1. In the TikTok app, tap the Share button on the side of the video you'd like to report.
2. Tap Report.
3. Tap Intellectual property infringement.
4. Tap Copyright Infringement Report and follow the instructions provided.
You can also use our online form to report IP infringement on TikTok.
Keep in mind:
• You'll need to provide all required and accurate information in your submission or your complaint may be denied.
• You must be the owner of the infringed work, or an authorized representative, to submit a copyright infringement report. Please ensure that supporting documentation identifying you as the owner or authorized representative is included in the report.
• If you intentionally submit a misleading or fraudulent report, it may lead to liability for damages under laws in applicable countries.
To report copyright infringements in advertisements, you can contact us through our online form.
To report copyright infringements on TikTok Shop, you can contact us through our online form.
What happens after a copyright infringement claim has been submitted to TikTok?
All copyright infringement claims will be reviewed by our team of IP specialists. We'll assess whether the report contains all necessary information for us to investigate the claims and has been submitted by the copyright owner or their authorized representative. We may reach out to you to provide any missing information. We recommend responding promptly to minimize any delays.
If we identify a violation of our Intellectual Property Policy, we'll remove the content from the platform. We'll notify both the reporter and the reported person of the action taken.
What to do if your content has been incorrectly removed for copyright infringement
You'll receive an in-app notification if your content has been removed for copyright infringment. If you believe your content was incorrectly removed because you're authorized to use the copyrighted content or you believe you have the right to use the content, you can submit an appeal in the TikTok app. You can also submit an appeal through our Counter Notification Form. You'll need to provide all required information, including your contact information and any evidence to support your claim otherwise your appeal may be denied.
The following appeal reasons, without any valid supporting evidence, are generally not accepted:
• Only a small portion of the work was copied and not the entire work.
• There are other users who are also posting similar content.
• You don't claim to own the copyright to the content.
• You didn't know you weren't allowed to post the content without permission.
• Posting the content is protected under the right to freedom of speech.
If your appeal is approved, we'll reinstate your content.
Does TikTok give strikes for repeated copyright infringements?
Yes. Under TikTok's Repeat Infringer Policy, we issue a strike to users if their content was removed due to copyright infringement. There is a limit of 3 strikes for each IP type, then we'll permanently remove the account. We count strikes for copyright and trademark infringements separately. For example, if you obtain 2 strikes for copyright infringement and 2 strikes for trademark infringement, your account won't be banned. However, if you obtain 3 strikes for copyright infringement and one strike for trademark infringement, your account will be banned.
Keep in mind, we reserve the right to immediately remove any account for a violation of our Community Guidelines, regardless of the number of strikes.
Accrued strikes will expire from your record after 90 days. We may also remove violations if the copyright infringement report is retracted or your appeal is approved.
How to avoid having your content removed for copyright infringement
You should only post original content on TikTok. If you intend to use content that belongs to somebody else, it's advisable for you to obtain their permission beforehand.
Under certain circumstances, you may be allowed to use another party's copyrighted content without their permission. For example, if the content is in the public domain or is otherwise permitted by law.
Keep in mind, lack of knowledge is not a valid defense against copyright infringement.