Fortnite dance litigation crumbles as Alfonso Ribeiro refused Carlton dance copyright

From Eurogamer: "Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor known for playing Carlton in the TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has hit a major stumbling block in his legal action against Fortnite and Epic Games, and 2K Games and the NBA 2K series. He's been refused copyright of the Carlton dance.

The US Copyright Office made no bones about it."

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Razzer30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

Well look at that. There is some sanity left in the world.

Jin_Sakai30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

No one should be able to copyright a dance. And you should be able to use it freely. It’s when you take that dance and use it to generate money that’s wrong.

rdgneoz330d ago

But he was refused the copyright. In his own words, he said he copied the Courtney fox dance from the Bruce Springsteen video as that was the whitest dance he knew...

Jin_Sakai30d ago

“But he was refused the copyright. In his own words, he said he copied the Courtney fox dance from the Bruce Springsteen video as that was the whitest dance he knew”

I understand that. I’m saying that you should be able to use any dance you want with the exception of charging money for using it.

S2Killinit30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

Yes of course you can copyright a dance otherwise people who create choreography would lose their jobs.

sampsonon30d ago

a person can copyright a dance just like anything else a person creates. his problem was that he never created the dance in the first place. simple

Eidolon30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

Saw the Cox dance, I don't see how he copied it. Definitely some inspiration, any one could have done Courntney Cox's dance if they were told to sway their hips and arms and snap there fingers. Epic downright copied a difficult dance. I mean, not even will Smith did it right.

rainslacker30d ago

His problem was that his dance is just a couple moves. That isn't enough to be considered a coprighable dance

Question_Mark30d ago

You can copyright dances, but only complex ones. Not simple ones like the Carlton dance.

Kados30d ago (Edited 30d ago )


Read the article and the note from the copyright office.

"Upon review of the material deposited for registration, we must refuse registration [of the dance] because the work submitted for registration is a simple dance routine," it said in a letter uploaded by the Hollywood Reporter (dated 22nd January). "As such, it is not registrable as a choreographic work."

You cannot copyright simply dance moves. You can only copyright a specific performance of said dance. If he had done a concert or public showing of the dance, and someone recorded it and put it on Youtube without his permission, he would have a claim. Simply replicating the movements in a game, or even publicly by another person, is not protected. The copyright office made no mention of the fact he himself had copied/adapted the moves.

madpuppy30d ago

In other News Courtney Cox sues Fortnight developers........

Christopher30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

***Yes of course you can copyright a dance otherwise people who create choreography would lose their jobs.***

Not completely accurate.

You can copyright a dance piece, which is comprised of many dance maneuvers (example, a piece to go along with Swan Lake or the like). You can not copyright a dance move/maneuver, as it is too simplistic of an element to copyright. And, this is exactly why the judge cited the case as such, that the maneuver was minor in concept and therefore failed to meet the copyright expectations.

UltraAtomic29d ago

Dosnt fortnight do the same though? Dont you have to buy the dance emoji?

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 29d ago
Lexreborn230d ago

You think there’s sanity in this world? Jean Claude Van Damm patented the split and some kicks... but you think this is seen as resonable?

Razzer30d ago

Oh come on now. They told Alfonso to f*ck off with his copyright. That's something at least. I'll take whatever sanity I can find these days!

CorndogBurglar29d ago

You're assuming he thinks its reasonable for JCVD to have copyrighted that split and some kicks.

He never said anything like that. In fact, based on his comment it sounds like he would think that's just as unreasonable as Carlton copyrighting this dance.

Cobra95129d ago

There's a world of difference between copyright and a patent. Patents protect processes. (Alliteration unintended; but if it helps . . .) Copyright only protects specific published works. Hence, the limitations on the right to copy those specific works. A patent protects all instances of a process, not just copies of a particular work. So if these dance moves were by some perversion of justice patented, then these leeches might actually have legal claims. If JCVD actually patented some moves (sadder things have happened), he has a case against whoever performs them without his approval.

Muzikguy30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

There's some, but not much. Maybe he should have declared it a national emergency

Seriously though, good on them not allowing a copyright. This was stupid in the first place

Razzer30d ago

"Maybe he should have declared it a national emergency "

seriously funny shit right there. lol

Muzikguy30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

At least this is over until the next crazy thing comes along

fathertime446429d ago

Well apparently you can't sew for everything. Just most things

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Tetsujin30d ago

Kind of hard to copyright a dance when there's no actual substance behind the why it should be copyrighted.

GottaBjimmyb30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

Copyrighting a dance, (choreography) maybe, copyrighting a dance move, no way.
1. There is no proof they made the dance up
2. What if you do the dance slightly differently, what constitutes a change?
3. Would dance studio have to pay to teach these moves? Since they charge for lessons? If not, where does the use become unusable without permission?

I think of all the suits, Alfonso definitely has the best grounds, but not that they sold his dance, he could say they stole his persona, which honestly, maybe is true, but also, not sure that stealing a persona is illegal or has any more standing.

I would consider a dance move to fall under the same as the following:
"Copyright protection does not extend to titles, names, slogans or short phrases"
Because it is too broad to copyright.

DaDrunkenJester30d ago

Did anything think this would actually go through? You can't copyright a simple dance move... it has to be a full choreographed dance piece. Waving your arms from one side to the other doesn't count...

rdgneoz330d ago

Can't copyright something you were quoted as saying you copied...

rainslacker30d ago

People that wanted to hate on fortnite seemed to want it to go through

DaDrunkenJester30d ago

Well I don't like Fortnite at all, but these lawsuits are bogus.

Vames30d ago

If this is the case, then Epic shouldn't be able to make money from these dances. I never like the idea of the dancers suing Epic, but at the same time, Epic got the idea of these dances from the dancers, therefore, if they can't make money from it, then Epic shouldn't either.

TK-5530d ago

"Epic got the idea of these dances from the dancers, therefore, if they can't make money from it, then Epic shouldn't either."

False. They can make money of the dances just like Epic. The issue is when they try to claim ownership and that they're owed a portion of the profits made when others monetize the dance.

Baza30d ago (Edited 30d ago )

So what. People get inspiration from other people’s ideas all the time. That’s the way of the world. There is no copyright infraction here so it’s all fair game. He actually should be appreciative for Fortnite making him relevant again. Beyond foolish.

Sgt_Slaughter30d ago

That's not how this works at all.

ImGumbyDammit30d ago

Are you implying that Fortnite can't do it without reimbursing somebody? If we take that logic. Didn't Alfonso Ribiero & the production of company Fresh Prince profit off copying (and did so admittedly) a Bruce Springsteen video? He got paid by the production didn't he for doing something blatantly similar. The production company got paid by NBC. NBC got paid by the ads. Everyone got paid from the Carlton dance being used on the show.

If anybody should be reimbursed by all concerned is the whitest-dancing rocker himself and Courtney Cox. Who never saw a dime from any of these people for their flailing arm dance.

Cobra95129d ago

Why? They're not anyone's exclusive property. You can create a video or game with those dances, and monetize them if you want to. Everyone can.

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Maybay30d ago

The idea that a gaming company can profit off of a creative dance that is linked to a specific person, is wrong. Dances that resemble a likeness to a specific creator, should all be free. If consumers are paying for emotes that originated from tv series, or music videos, Epic should not be profiting from them.

rdgneoz330d ago

He said he copied courtney Cox...

"There was a video of Bruce Springsteen and Courtney Cox called 'Dancing in the Dark', and Bruce Springsteen pulls her up onto the stage and she basically does that dance.
"It was also from Eddie Murphy's 'Delirious' comedy video where he does 'The White Man Dance.' What I did was ultimately take those two dances and combined them and made it my own, and made it my character's."

Copying others then claiming ownership...

adamwparker30d ago

You don't have to buy the dance move Maybay.

It's not like you perform the dance in the game and Epic bursts into the light saying "oh, you did that move. Now you have to pay us for it."(like what these people trying to sue are doing basically)

Keep your money in your wallet.

For the players who WOULD love to actually add these moves to their character arsenal, they should be able to do that.

It's not wrong. What's wrong with more choices to choose from in a video game???

NeoGamer23229d ago

Maybe paying for emotes is wrong.

I don't know why people think that everything gets to be copyrighted. There is a line that needs to be drawn otherwise someone posting a Carlton Dance on social media and gets lots of hits will get sued or banned. Copyright is important, but this is ridiculous.

Cobra95129d ago

Oh, there is a line. The US Copyright Office just cast a spotlight on it. Simple dance moves are not copyrightable. Only full choreography works are.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 29d ago
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