Forums - Gaming Discussion - Alfonso Ribeiro is suing Fortnite for stealing the Carlton Dance

The Fresh Prince of BelAir's Alfonso Ribeiro is suing Fortnite for stealing the Carlton Dance.

 

Source: https://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/epic-games-take-two-interactive-complaints-1203091585/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

 

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star who played Carlton Banks in the hit 90s sitcom, is suing fortnite Creator epic games for using his signature dance move "The Carlton" without his permission.



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For reference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS1cLOIxsQ8

vs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcHqodGpo-s



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Wow, that's... troublesome. I mean, he's going to have to prove that:
1. The dance is somehow copyrighted.
2. He's the owner of the dance, and not the producers of the Prince of Bel Air show.
3. Epic copied enough of the dance to guarantee a copyright violation there.
4. Putting a reference in a game is grounds for a copyright violation.

How did he think this is going to work?



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So, according to quite a few outlets he is right now in the process of trying to copyright the dance moves, which would suggest that he doesn't actually have any claim of ownership to them at the moment. I'm not really sure how you can copyright a specific dance. You can probably trademark the name of the dance/moves, but if the dance in Fortnite isn't specifically called the Carlton Dance i don't think he really has a case here.



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Darwinianevolution said:
Wow, that's... troublesome. I mean, he's going to have to prove that:
1. The dance is somehow copyrighted.
2. He's the owner of the dance, and not the producers of the Prince of Bel Air show.
3. Epic copied enough of the dance to guarantee a copyright violation there.
4. Putting a reference in a game is grounds for a copyright violation.

How did he think this is going to work?

For point 1: in all countries abiding by the Berne Convention copyright is automatic, you don't need to register or something. If you created it, it is copyrighted. Point 2 is much more important. Did he invent it, or the writers of the show? And does his contract with the company that produced the show allow him to keep his own work or is all done in context of the show in ownership of the producers? Point 3 is a usual limitation of copyright. The court must decide if the work is significant enough for copyright, or to trivial. And if it is significant enough, if Epic copied enough of it. And then there is fair use and similar.

Towards how he thinks it will work out? Well, how all these people think:

Step 1: make fuss

Step 2: ???

Step 3: profit!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO5sxLapAts



3DS-FC: 4511-1768-7903 (Mii-Name: Mnementh), Nintendo-Network-ID: Mnementh, Switch: SW-7706-3819-9381 (Mnementh)

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Predictions: Switch / Switch vs. XB1 in the US / Three Houses first quarter

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Mnementh said:
Darwinianevolution said:
Wow, that's... troublesome. I mean, he's going to have to prove that:
1. The dance is somehow copyrighted.
2. He's the owner of the dance, and not the producers of the Prince of Bel Air show.
3. Epic copied enough of the dance to guarantee a copyright violation there.
4. Putting a reference in a game is grounds for a copyright violation.

How did he think this is going to work?

For point 1: in all countries abiding by the Berne Convention copyright is automatic, you don't need to register or something. If you created it, it is copyrighted. Point 2 is much more important. Did he invent it, or the writers of the show? And does his contract with the company that produced the show allow him to keep his own work or is all done in context of the show in ownership of the producers? Point 3 is a usual limitation of copyright. The court must decide if the work is significant enough for copyright, or to trivial. And if it is significant enough, if Epic copied enough of it. And then there is fair use and similar.

Towards how he thinks it will work out? Well, how all these people think:

Step 1: make fuss

Step 2: ???

Step 3: profit!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO5sxLapAts

 

I saw in related articles that he uses the dance in other shows (Dance with the Stars I guess), I guess it's more his personal signature move than something from the show. 

And the emote is a clear, complete copy, even named "Fresh" as a direct reference and with the same song as background. I'm not sure about the copyright around it, but the copy itself is a no brainer. 



Well if anyone made this dance popular than it's Alfonso Ribeiro.



Can a dance be copyrighted?



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Translation: I will always hate Fox for canceling The Exorcist.

It was funny when he did it on the show but even then it seemed like it was funny because he was referencing an uptight, well to do, stereotype. Like "Black guys do it like this but white guys, they do it like THIS!" type of humor. I'm pretty sure he got the dance from some place else. When this is discounted, I hope he isn't smacked with a countersuit or court costs.

And again, that's IF y can somehow copyright a motion that the human body does.



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I grew up watching him and love that dance, but there is just no way that he is going to win this, even if he does manage to successfully copyright the dance, the fact is that Fortnite had the dance in the game before he copyrighted it, so as long as the emote isn't called "the Carlton dance" in game, it should be grandfathered that they are allowed to keep using it afaik. But i'm no legal expert.