A high-profile lawsuit brought by TikTok users and creators last month challenging Montana’s statewide ban against the short-form video app is being funded by the social media giant itself, the company told CNN on Wednesday.
TikTok has been covering legal fees for the group of five TikTok creators, said Jodi Seth, a TikTok spokesperson, separately from the company’s own lawsuit to block the state’s new law targeting the app over national security concerns.
“We support our creators through various programs and have an ongoing dialogue about their presence on TikTok,” Seth said in a statement. “Throughout this process, many creators have expressed major concerns both privately and publicly about the potential impact of the Montana law on their livelihoods. We will support our creators in fighting for their constitutional rights.”
TikTok’s involvement in the creators’ suit was first reported this week by The New York Times, weeks after the initial court case was filed. The company’s role in the litigation had not been previously known.
The suit by the TikTok creators was the first to challenge Montana’s law banning TikTok from being offered within state lines and establishing penalties for the company and for app stores that violate the law. Legal experts have said the legislation, which is not set to take effect until January, raises constitutional issues and may well be practically unenforceable even if the law is upheld.