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TikTok Creators Sue to Stop US Divestment or Ban

TikTok Creators Sue to Stop US Divestment or Ban

TikTok developers filed an action in U.S. federal court Tuesday to halt a measure signed by President Joe Biden that would require the divestment or suspension of the short video app used by 170 million Americans, saying it has had “a profound effect on American life.”
A Texas Marine Corps veteran selling ranch products, a Tennessee woman selling cookies and discussing parenting, a North Dakota college coach making sports commentary videos, a Mississippi hip hop artist sharing Biblical quizzes, and a North Carolina recent college graduate advocating for sexual assault survivors are suing TikTok.

“Although they come from different places, professions, walks of life, and political persuasions, they are united in their view that TikTok provides them a unique and irreplaceable means to express themselves and form community,” said the suit.
On behalf of the creators, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP sent Reuters a copy of the complaint filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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White House rejected the comment. The Justice Department official said the TikTok law “addresses serious national security concerns within First Amendment and other constitutional limits. We look forward to courtroom defense of the law.”
The injunction action claims the rule violates free expression and “promises to shutter a discrete medium of communication that has become part of American life.”

TikTok and its Chinese parent firm ByteDance filed a similar lawsuit last week, claiming the law violates the U.S. Constitution and First Amendment free expression.
The creators of TikTok sued in 2020 to thwart a previous attempt to restrict the app under then-President Donald Trump and last year in Montana to block a state ban. Both bans were overturned by courts.

Read More: TikTok, ByteDance Fight US App Sale or Ban Law

Trump has since slammed TikTok bans but has not joined the app.

Biden signed the measure on April 24, giving ByteDance until Jan. 19 to sell TikTok or be banned. The White House wants Chinese-owned TikTok to be terminated for national security reasons but not banned.
Without ByteDance divesting TikTok, the law prevents app shops like Apple (AAPL.O) and Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O) from distributing it and internet hosting services from supporting it.
The suit argued, “Because TikTok currently has approximately 170 million users in the United States, the fine for continuing to enable access to TikTok would be roughly $850 billion.”

Although the government may claim the legislation protects Americans’ data, the suit states that “it has tried that strategy before and lost.” The suit claims “the concerns are speculative, and even if they were not, they could be addressed with legislation much more narrowly tailored to any purported concern.” last week the divestiture “is simply not possible: not commercially, not technologically, not legally… There is no question: the Act (law) will force a shutdown of TikTok by January 19, 2025.”

The bill passed easily in Congress weeks after being filed because of legislators’ concerns that China may access Americans’ data or spy on them with the app. The four-year TikTok dispute is a major battlefield in the US-China internet and technology war. Apple said China asked it to remove Meta Platform (META.O), open new tab WhatsApp, and Threads from its App Store in China over national security concerns in April. Biden may extend the Jan. 19 deadline by three months if ByteDance progresses. TikTok is used by Biden’s campaign, and his deputy manager said it “would be silly to write off any place where people are getting information about the president.”

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Emerson Hardy-Blue is a prolific author specializing in the world of entrepreneurs and founders. With a deep passion for business and innovation, he delves into the journeys, challenges, and triumphs of visionary individuals. Emerson's writings provide invaluable insights and practical advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, offering a roadmap to success. Through his engaging storytelling and expertise, he inspires and empowers readers to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams with confidence and determination.