Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star, Alfonso Ribeiro probably isn’t too happy that the U.S. Copyright Office won’t allow him to copyright his famous “Carlton Dance.”
According to the U.S. Copyright Office. The ruling was filed in one of two lawsuits the actor brought against video game makers whose characters and avatars perform “The Carlton” — a dance he popularized on the 90’s sitcom.
In December, the actor sued video gaming companies Epic Games, the creator of “Fortnite,” and Take-Two Interactive, which owns the “NBA 2K” series, for including the dance in their games without his permission.
For two of the dances, a registration supervisor said on Jan. 22 that “the combination of these three dance steps is a simple routine that is not registrable as a choreographic work.”
The same supervisor noted that Ribeiro had submitted his performance (above) of the dance on Dancing With The Stars in 2014. That raised questions of whether his dance partner was also a choreographer of the dance, or if it was performed under a work-for-hire arrangement with ABC, which would then be the author and copyright owner of the work — at least if this instance was cited as its origin.
When Ribeiro filed his lawsuit in December, TMZ noted that the actor said in 2012 that he “stole” the movements for the dance from Courteney Cox’s moves in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark” video,
and from an Eddie Murphy routine in which he imitated white people dancing.
Ribeiro’s attorney later claimed his client used the word “stole” in jest and “not in the legal sense.”