The dance innovators of our time have lost another battle against Fortnite. Alfonso Ribeiro’s copyright on the Carlton, his trademark dance from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, has been denied. Ribeiro attempted to gain the copyright to bolster the two lawsuits he has filed against video games who yoinked the Carlton for emotes: Take-Two Interactive’s NBA 2K18 and Epic Games’ Fortnite. The copyright was rejected because, in the savage words of a registration supervisor, “the combination of these three dance steps is a simple routine that is not registrable as a choreographic work.” Take-Two has moved for immediate dismissal of the suit against NBA 2K18. David L. Hecht, Ribeiro’s attorney, is planning to ask the copyright office to consider. Hecht is also representing 2 Milly in his suit against Fortnite. 2 Milly and Ribeiro are two of four memetic dancers suing the game. The mothers of Russell “Backpack Kid” Horning and a child only known as “Orange Shirt Kid” are also suing Fortnite for use of “Flossing” and “the Random” respectively.
Alfonso Ribeiro. Photo: Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images