Alfonso Ribeiro filed a suit against Epic Games claiming that he owned the “Carlton Dance” from “The Fresh Prince”, and the Copyright Office has come back with a ruling on the matter.
A registration specialist for the U.S. Copyright Office told Alfonso’s lawyer that their attempt to register the rights on the dance is being denied due to the dance being “a simple dance routine”.
The expert broke down the dance for Alfonso and his lawyer by saying “the combination of these three dance steps is a simple routine that is not registrable as a choreographic work.”
Alfonso also is attempted to sue the creators of NBA 2K for using the “Carlton Dance” without his permission, but 2K’s lawyers put in a motion to dismiss the legal suit.
The ruling by the Copyright Office should also be commenting on the other suits against Epic Games use of dances in Fortnite, as the mom of the orange shirt kid also filed a suit for her son’s dance.
Alfonso’s lawsuits against Epic Games and 2K are still active, but if they wind up going to trial, then the Copyright Office’s ruling will negatively affect the case for him.