Alfonso Ribeiro Legal Case Flops As He Doesn’t Own ‘The Carlton’

/ 4 years ago

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The Carlton Dance

You may recall reading back in December that the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air star, Alfonso Ribeiro, was suing Epic Games over what he felt was an unauthorised use of his ‘Carlton Dance’. A rather humorous dance move/display he made famous in the show. At the time, this wasn’t the first ‘dance lawsuit’ aimed at Epic Games, but it didn’t stop it being treated with bewilderment.

It seems, however, that his legal work may not have been entirely up to scratch. You see, despite issuing the lawsuit, he didn’t technically own the rights to it. It does, however, get worse. After he did apply for the copyright to the dance, in a report via PCGamesN, the US Copyrights office has refused his application.

So what does this mean? Well, essentially, it means that his legal case has fallen completely flat at the first hurdle.

Why Was The Copyright Rejected?

Well, from this point on things get a bit complicated. You can (apparently) copyright a choreographed piece of dance work. The office, however, does not consider the ‘dance’ to fall in this category. They instead feel that it is instead simply a dance made up of 3 basic moves. In other words, it’s a compilation rather than an outright dance.

Saskia Florence from the Copyright Office’s Performing Arts Division has said: “the combination of these three dance steps is a simple routine that is not registrable as a choreographic work.” – The fear is that if copyright was granted for this ‘dance’ it would potentially allow people to copyright any form of body movement. In fairness, I do get that point. It’d be like the army trying to copyright the salute and suing any civilian who did it without their permission.

So, as much as I love you Alfonso Ribeiro, I think this frivolous lawsuit has come to the acrimonious end it thoroughly deserved.

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

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