Copyright Office Rejects Carlton Actor's Request To Have His Dance Copyrighted

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor February 15, 2019
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With all due respect to the other "performance artists" who have recently taken to filing legal action against game companies for the use of their dance moves in video games, it's Alfonso Ribiero -- a.k.a. Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air -- who's captured the lion's share of the attention. Late last year, Ribiero sued Epic Games for its use of the "Fresh" dance in Fortnite: Battle Royale (as well as Take-Two for its use in NBA 2K), but it turns out that his request for copyright was refused last month.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, a supervisory registration specialist in California has refused Ribiero's claim, telling his attorney that "registration must be refused because his claimed 'choreographic work' was a 'simple dance routine.'" Of note is the question as to whether Ribiero "owns" the move in the first place, since it was created for a network TV show. That's similar to the case of former Scrubs actor Donald Faison, whose "Poison" dance is also found in Fortnite.

While the lack of a copyright might not make a lawsuit impossible, it seems unlikely that Ribiero will see much, if anything from the legal proceedings. Complicating the matter is the fact that Ribiero has admitted to being inspired by other sources when "creating" the dance and that it has appeared in several other games over the years, including Guild Wars 2, as pictured at the top of this article.

And that concludes today's edition of MMOBomb: Celebrity News Edition.

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (2)

George Lolas 2 years ago
It is disgusting that they are trying to get money because of the popularity of Fortnite. First of all, they don'y even have the copyrights to the dances. Also, you cannot copyright dances as they are all a set of moves that have been already used by others. On top of that, Alfonso's moves were recreated in other games in the past, why didn't he sued the other companies?

What is next? Copyright breathing oxygen? Walking? Copyright heartbeating?

rickshaw 2 years ago
Dance moves can not be copyrighted as they are moves taken from a person or persons already performing it, it may of come from backgrounds native or just someone messing around, even mechanical, and the professional dancer has taken it and or reinvented it there way as performance.
We have all done some dance moves in our life time on the dance floor, crazy or unusual, but they are all moves copied from something, someone, or something.
So no copyright is allowed for dance moves as its known as "Open Field".


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