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Alfonso Ribeiro lost copyright for “Carlton dance”

Alfonso Ribeiro claimed that the "Carlton dance" was illegally used in Fortnite. The U.S. Copyright Office made the dance move ineligible for copyright. For now, players can continue using the "Fresh" emote to their heart's content.

Alfonso Ribeiro lost copyright for "Carlton dance"
Fortnite players and their avatars are dancing for joy as the popular emote is safe from the legal purge.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alfonso Ribeiro, star of the hit '90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, lost his copyright claim over the "Carlton dance" in a Fortnite lawsuit Wednesday. This loss comes two months after Ribeiro filed a lawsuit against Epic Games for stealing the dance routine and selling it as an emote in the game.

Fresh Emote in Fortnite Battle Royale is the Carlton Dance

The "Carlton dance" was introduced in an episode of Fresh Prince, where Ribeiro's character Carlton Banks shook his hips whilst swinging his arms in an exaggerated manner to the song "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones. After Epic Games programmed the Carlton dance as an emote, simply named "Fresh", for avatars to perform in celebration of their victories in Fortnite, Ribeiro sued them for using the dance without his permission. He also sued Take-Two Interactive for using the routine in NBA 2K16.

The U.S. Copyright Office denied Ribeiro his copyright registration for the "Carlton dance" and made a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on grounds that the "Carlton dance" is a simple dance move anyone can perform rather than a choreographic work, therefore it is ineligible for copyright protection. A hearing for dismissal of the lawsuit against Epic and Take-Two, still ongoing as of this writing, has been scheduled for March 18.

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