73 Am. U. L. Rev. F. 43 (2023).

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The digital world has created new and exciting challenges for the world of copyright law. TikTok’s impact on the music industry is profound, especially in terms of music ownership and licensing. The application’s duet feature has resulted in a popular trend called the “open verse challenge,” where artists present their music to the online community and invite other artists to add in their own verse. This innovative way to collaborate on music composition leaves open questions regarding copyright ownership of these sounds on TikTok.

This Note analyzes the methods and circumstances of these duets, discussing the mechanism for how these duets come to be. Many of these duets include an intention to collaborate on a shared song from both the original artist and the duetters. Under the Childress test, these duets should be considered joint works, which has important implications for how royalties should be distributed.

* Senior Staff Member, American University Law Review, Volume 72; J.D. Candidate, May 2024, American University Washington College of Law; B.A., English, Criminal Justice, May 2019, The George Washington University.

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