"Fresh Prince" Star Sues Fortnite for Stealing Carlton Dance

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,004
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Actor Alfonso Ribeiro, best known for playing Carlton Banks opposite Will Smith in popular ‘90s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” is suing Epic Games for stealing the “Carlton Dance” and turning it into an emote for battle-royale darling Fortnite. The lawsuit has prompted inquiries into whether Fornite can really be sued for “stealing” dance moves, and legal experts suggest it would be an uphill battle: “it is difficult to prove ownership of a dance because so many components may have been drawn from, or heavily inspired by, previous works.”

    Alfonso's attorney, David Hecht of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, tells us, "It is widely recognized that Mr. Ribeiro’s likeness and intellectual property have been misappropriated by Epic Games in the most popular video game currently in the world, Fortnite." He continues, "Epic has earned record profits off of downloadable content in the game, including emotes like “Fresh.” Yet Epic has failed to compensate or even ask permission from Mr. Ribeiro for the use of his likeness and iconic intellectual property."
     
  2. p.i.m.p

    p.i.m.p Gawd

    Messages:
    583
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
  3. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,344
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    No don't pay the man. Doing so would open the flood gates of litigation and set a precedent. There are already several lawsuits againts Epic over dances as is.
     
    babochee, HoffY, GoldenTiger and 10 others like this.
  4. GMcDougal

    GMcDougal Gawd

    Messages:
    922
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    My guess is they settle out of court quickly. Epic has made so much money off Fortnite that they just want this to go away
     
    Colonel Sanders likes this.
  5. Darkswordz

    Darkswordz Gawd

    Messages:
    567
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Does he even "own" the dance? It was performed on the show, so I would think the studio would own the rights to it.
     
  6. jmaker

    jmaker Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    The Division has the same emote and they actually call it the Carlton.
     
  7. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

    Messages:
    5,725
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Trademarking a dance move, I mean really. As noted above, the character "Carlton" is owned by the TV studio that produced the show, not Ribeiro, and as for trademarking a dance move, seriously dude, get the fuck out. :D
     
  8. nightanole

    nightanole [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    2,013
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Hes said it twice in the last decade that he stole it from an eddie murphy skit. On top of that if he wants to claim it, he would have had to make the dance intentional, and had it documented with the planned choreography etc to back it up.

    Right now its like if tony hawk pulled the mother of all tricks by accident, and is bitching that fortnite stole his moves.

    In other news, i think you can be sued for doing "the happy gilmore" in a golf game, because it was written before hand.
     
    ChoGGi, Jza and FrgMstr like this.
  9. maxius

    maxius 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,364
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2001
    this is frivolous
     
    Domingow, mynamehere and LightsOut41 like this.
  10. jojo69

    jojo69 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,402
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    I think they all have good cases and will probably prevail. Epic was unadvisedly brazen in calling it "fresh", and the scrubs dance is clearly a straight up rip.

    I am torn, however. We all have the same limbs and joints, there are only so many ways to move them. We have to be careful here.
     
  11. Smashing Young Man

    Smashing Young Man [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,541
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    What a piece of shit that guy is.
     
    Jza, Madoc and GhostCow like this.
  12. Shmee

    Shmee [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,148
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    He does indeed, and due to the nature of the show (hiring musicians and dancers as actors), songs and choreography performed on the show belong to the performers. Believe it or not he is a well known dancer and a choreographer in real life, and to be a dance that you can copyright it needs three moves, which this has, and be captured on fixed media with a timestamp, which this was. Epic even named the dance "Fresh", so while I am not sure he will win, it isn't completely baseless. Dance is a form of art, and art can be copyrighted in all its forms. Here is the quick legalzoom.com description: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/how-to-copyright-a-dance
     
  13. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,101
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Carlton stole it from me. I have 8mm video showing my moves. Alexa took the frames and sent them back in time to Carlton.

    Ima gonna sue him if he gets any winnings.
     
    Jza and Flexion like this.
  14. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,483
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    So if I posted a video on YouTube of how to do the Carlton, would I be sued or would it be fair use? Sure seems like he cares more about getting money than protecting his dance move.
     
  15. alamox

    alamox Gawd

    Messages:
    596
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    personally i wouldn't dare sue a company for this, especialy if i am a public figure, just looks pathetic, yes it's your move, so what ?
     
  16. acidrain97

    acidrain97 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    217
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    isn't dancing a form of moving your arms and legs in a certain fashion? I'm going to copyright walking as a dance. Guess what, anybody that walks I'm going to sue because I invented the walking dance. Pay me.
     
  17. termite

    termite [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,872
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Pretty sure it's from Eddie Murphy RAW "White People can't dance".
     
    schmide likes this.
  18. schmide

    schmide Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    240
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    A common exaggeration of a common 80s dance.



    But Gene Simmons got his hand gesture?

    Prior art by Courteney Cox
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
    Flatline and LightsOut41 like this.
  19. Shmee

    Shmee [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,148
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    Fair use is always a hard question, and for dancing it is even harder since not a lot of people try and sue over it, but at the same time dancing is usually free or you earn very little money from it. Generally you pay choreographers to come up with dances for shows or videos and that is then end of it because there is no marketplace for this. People dancing those dances in the club are not making money off of the dances so it is fair use. A how to video would probably be same. In the same way there are tons of guitar tutorials for songs with a copyright that no one goes after. That has changed now that Fortnite has started charging $10 a pop for these things. All of the sudden a market has appeared, and it is important that creators get paid for their creations. That is how the free market is supposed to work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  20. Travolta

    Travolta Gawd

    Messages:
    656
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Yeah but The Division isn't making lots of money.
     
    jmaker likes this.
  21. Qthulu

    Qthulu [H]Lite

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2018
    The only property owned by the network is videos of him dancing or his likeness. Movement and dances are essentially public domain and are not "Ownable"
     
  22. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,689
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    This is bullshit, if you walk like someone that someone can sue you for walking the same way? Fuck off.
     
  23. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,101
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Umm, this may not be the time or place, but I have copyrighted the phrase "Fuck off." If you use a period and only a capital "F", well, it's mine.
     
  24. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    15,648
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Well.....it is called the "Carlton". But its not copyrighted as far as I know. Its a bit of a stretch....
     
  25. Nolan7689

    Nolan7689 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,429
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    But does he own it? Did he go through the steps of copyrighting it? If he did open and shut, pay the man. If he never copyrighted it in all these years very arguably it's fallen to public demand.

    Um, well, for most people walking=/=dancing. But hey, I don't know your life, walk like no ones watching.
     
  26. Shadowed

    Shadowed Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    496
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Carlton dance was in Destiny 1 as well!
     
  27. Puterguru

    Puterguru 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,972
    Joined:
    May 21, 2001
  28. Nokia

    Nokia [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,087
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    When you are so broke that you have to sue a game to try to get money.
     
  29. xmadror

    xmadror Gawd

    Messages:
    719
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Aren't you supposed to defend your copyrighted work if you want to keep a claim over it (assuming a dance can even be copyrighted)?
    Since it has been used in other game before and he did not have a problem with it for years I think it's too late to try to milk it now ?

    If there was ground to sue I'd think World of Warcraft would have been hit years ago ...
    https://www.alteredgamer.com/wow-ar...ration-of-the-world-of-warcraft-dance-emotes/
     
  30. WhoMe

    WhoMe Gawd

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Think I'll just TM (stronger than a copyright) everything a human can do...surely I'll make millions...especially as games try more and more to mimic everything people do. And oh yeah, don't forget to send me the $1 fee next time you use the bathroom.

    Maybe the patent troll companies can get in on this too.
     
  31. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

    Messages:
    925
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    I plan to sue them as well - they stole the game title from me. As a kid I built a fort (using patented methods) and spent a nite in it (using patented sleeping methods).
     
  32. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,503
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Dumb


    I hope the plantiffs fail and get stuck with the court charges.

    Litigation happy society. Everyone’s looking for a quick buck.
     
  33. Cranky1970

    Cranky1970 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    72
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Move on all nothing to see or comment on here..........
     
  34. Aioeyu

    Aioeyu [H]Lite

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Good luck with that lawsuit /s
    If anyone owned the rights to the dance, it would be NBC Universal/Comcast, as they are listed as the rights holder of "Fresh Prince of Bel Air." However, case law seems to support that dance moves cannot be copyrighted due to their collaborative nature. That logic seems like it would imply that music can't be copyrighted either, since all music is in essence a collaboration between the producers and other artists, as the precedent on dance implies. As Ribeiro has already stated, the dance is an amalgamation of other moves he'd seen, largely based on Courtney Cox in the Bruce Springsteen video "Dancing in the Dark." He has clearly stated where the inspiration came from in the past, most notably to Time magazine here: http://time.com/4004806/alfonso-ribeiro-explains-carlton-dance/.

    It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out, as a win by all the people suing Fortnite for "stealing" dance moves would be a complete reversal of fair use or a long tradition of artists of one variety borrowing from others in an interpretive way to make something new.
     
    schmide likes this.
  35. funkydmunky

    funkydmunky 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,397
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Elaine Benes is going to clean up. Don't no one go get caught dancing badly! Not at a wedding, not at the bar, not at the prom. No one not ever no where do bad dancings.
     
  36. Mr.Scarface

    Mr.Scarface n00b

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Um....he has a NETWORK job on ABC. He is the host of America's Funniest Home Videos that on every Sunday night.
     
  37. theBrownLlama

    theBrownLlama Gawd

    Messages:
    794
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Fortnite's profits is how much now?
    geez man, pay him a little then make him shill for the game in ads. Win-Win. Sounds like he's desperate enough.

    but greedy execs. Greedy execs ruin everything for games these days.
     
  38. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,689
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    The point is that this type of thing shouldn't even be allowed into copyrights even if he tried. It's ridiculous.
     
  39. Advil

    Advil [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,870
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
    What even comprises a "dance move?"

    Games have featured dance emotes since what... the 90s? Maybe earlier?

    Are these guys trying to say that short sequence dance MOVES can't be used? It's practically a form of free use parody. The move sequences rarely extend past 20-30 seconds and none have ever been an entire segment of a sitcom or an entire hour of ripped off broadway or MTV performance.

    We're going to start allowing lawsuits if a few seconds of moves gets used?

    We're all going to have to stand still in public.

    Oh wait, some dimwit will say that standing still IS his dance move.
     
  40. Shmee

    Shmee [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,148
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    You don't need to file copyrights for art. It helps, but don't need to. That way people can't steal unpublished books or paintings from you. Same idea for dance. You just need to have documented it with a date. Which the show does for him. If you had read my link I provided you would have seen that, and yes he does own it. Listen, I am not saying he should sue, I am just saying the suit isn't as baseless as people are making it out to be, and maybe if you had come up with something people are charging $10 a pop for you would want your cut too.
     
    Uvaman2 likes this.