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The “Chinese technological iron grip” of TikTok risks leaving musicians with a raw deal on royalties, Britain’s former tech minister has warned.

Damian Collins accused the wildly popular social media app of trying to cut artists out of the equation by blocking users’ access to music on the platform.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, has been carrying out a trial in Australia that limits the number of songs users can use in their videos.

The move forms part of efforts by TikTok to prove that music is not crucial to the app’s success, amid a clash with record labels over royalties.

But Mr Collins, who was tech minister between July and October last year, said TikTok’s test was “silencing creators in favour of its own self-interests”.

The Tory MP accused TikTok of “degrading” the music experience for users and said artists and songwriters were getting little in return for their contributions towards the success of the app.

“We cannot quietly stand by and let ByteDance and TikTok stifle our world-leading creative sector with their Chinese technological iron grip while enriching themselves from it at the same time,” he said.

“This suffocation of creative and commercial freedom must not be allowed to go any further – it must not be allowed to happen here in the UK.”

What in buggery is the man talking about?

So, TikTok is being shouted at/sued over royalties. So, it’s testing whether music is a necessary part of the experience so that all can work out what the royalties should be. How can anyone decide what royalties should be without knowing how important the music part is?

Collins seems to be taking the newspaper against Google News line. Not only must they carry our stuff but they must also pay us lots of money for doing so.

No, doesn’t work that way.

5 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. “Chinese technological iron grip”


    Most of social media is American. Spotify is Swedish, I think.

  2. “This suffocation of creative and commercial freedom must not be allowed to go any further – it must not be allowed to happen here in the UK.”

    This from the man who is a part-architect** and staunch defender of the Great Wall of Britain….

    **Nothing in his bio or actions shows he has any idea how digital technology actually works, but people like that are at the root of Really Stupid Ideas like to dub themselves “architecs”.

  3. Damian Collins is a buffoon. He is wrong about everything.

    Rather amusingly he turned from being a Remainer to arch Brexiteer, because UKIP were revving their tank engines on his lawn.

  4. I thought musicians were being threatened by home taping. Or was that Napster? Or peer-to-peer sharing? Or was that all untrue and it was all the fault of TikTok all along? So powerful it exerted its influence backwards in time to before it existed.

    And it’s not foreign competition that can stifle our world-leading creative sector. We do that quite well enough ourselves.

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