They're At It Again...Deposition Dance Party

January 8, 2019

You do not cut in on Carlton.

Seems there’s a whole lot shakin’ in courtrooms these days thanks to a bunch of digital doppelgangers mimicking the moves of some famous live counterparts.

Take Alfonso Ribeiro, host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

Not ringing a bell? Try this guy.

Also known for his role as Carlton Banks on the TV show “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” nearly 30 years ago, Ribeiro performed what’s now known as the “Carlton Dance” - an irony-rich boogie known to rerun addicts everywhere. And, if Ribeiro’s lawyers prevail, also known to the makers of Fortnite, currently the biggest video game in the world.

Last month, Ribeiro filed a federal lawsuit against Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, to bar the company from using, selling or displaying the dance. According to the suit, “The Dance” is now “inextricably linked to Ribeiro and has continued to be part of his celebrity persona,” and the actor now wants injunctive relief – and unspecified damages.

But Fortnite apparently isn’t done stepping on toes. The rapper 2 Milly claims Fortnite has also stolen his “2 Milly” dance and Instagram star Backpack Kid – who launched “The Floss” – got his mom to sue Epic on his behalf (he’s a minor).

So, are these plaintiffs going to waltz into a big legal victory? Questionable, if you look at the history of dance and copyright law here and abroad.

The beat goes on.
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