Carlton Suing ‘Fortnite’ For Stealing His ‘Carlton Dance’

Alfonso Ribeiro, aka Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, wants a piece of that billion dollars that Fortnite is bringing in.

See that? If you play Fortnite, that’s “Fresh emote,” something you can make your characters do. It’s also how Carlton danced on the show back in the 1990s.

Too similar for Ribeiro’s taste. He’s suing Fortnite‘s maker, Epic Games, for an undisclosed amount. His lawyer, David Hecht, says:

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.”

…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.”

According to TMZ, Ribeiro’s in the process of copyrighting the Carlton dance. Can he copyright this? A quick Google search says no.

Dance moves themselves are not trademarkable because they are not used to identify where goods or services originate, unlike a logo, slogan, or brand name. But what about when people say that you have a “trademark” dance move? Well, that just means that a person does a certain type of move, like a touchdown victory celebration, that you identify with that person. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean they can actually register it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

If dance moves could be trademarked or copyrighted, I’m sure Michael Jackson would’ve trademarked the moonwalk by now. Instead, everyone can do it at will. However, “the name of that dance move can be trademarked.” So if Ribeiro wanted to trademark “The Carlton Dance,” I suppose he could.

At the same time, he came up with dance move as part of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the show would own that intellectual property.

Fortnite does steal ideas from others, that’s for sure. 2 Milly sued them for stealing his “Milly Rock” dance.

I don’t even remember this song.

This sounds like a shakedown by Carlton. I checked IMDB. The guy hasn’t had any work in a few years, just doing odd director and acting jobs. They’ll probably settle out of court for some undisclosed sum. Then, Rebeiro will go around shaking down everyone who even things about doing his dance.

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