Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


TikTok the Musical: Copyright Issues Raised by the “Ratatouille” Musical, explores the growing trend in derivative works and the failures of current copyright law to address it. This article asserts that while derivative works are excellent creative outlets, a safe haven in a tumultuous world, allowing appropriation of copyrights via the fair use doctrine conflicts with the foundations of copyright law. This article argues that IP giants such as the Walt Disney Company have sent a dangerous message to the general public by allowing the TikTok trend of the #ratatouillemusical to become an actual musical: that unlicensed derivative works will not only go unchallenged by media giants, but they will be lauded. So now the law must reckon with this growing cultural trend of derivative work musicals lest “copyright protection” become a misnomer. Using the only law available and employing a fair use analysis upon the example “Ratatousical,” it becomes clear that the fair use doctrine is inadequate protection for original creators when addressing derivative works created on new platforms such as TikTok, and the need for new best practices must be addressed.

First Page