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Fortnite: Carlton's emote legal challenge runs into trouble

Alfonso Ribeiro tried trademarking the Carlton dance to give his lawsuit against Epic have a better chance of succeeding, but the copyright office shut him down.

It seemed like pretty much everyone wanted to get on the "you stole my dance" train last year. One passenger was Alfonso Ribeiro, better known as Carlton in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Back in December, he decided to sue Epic for having the Fresh emote in Fortnite, as it was obviously a copy of his signature dance from the TV show. History shows that suing someone for copying their dance moves has proven largely unsuccessful, but Ribeiro hoped to increase his chances by trademarking his dance. Unfortunately for him, the US Copyright Office hasn't changed its mind regarding trademarking dances.

The Hollywood Reporter has uploaded a document revealing that Ribeiro's application has been rejected:

"Upon review of the material deposited for registration, we must refuse registration for The Dance by Alfonso Ribeiro - Variation B because the work submitted for registration is a simple dance routine."

They basically continue by saying that the dance isn't choreographic work because the steps are a simple routine, they question if he created it himself, and offered a few additional reasons for the rejection.

It would be likely that this also applies to the many other dances Epic has been sued for using in Fortnite as well, so it'll be interesting to see if this sets a precedent for future lawsuit attempts, or whether Epic will settle or take it to court regardless.

Moreover, maybe Forza Horizon 4 didn't have to remove the dance after all, and will now bring it back in all its glory Either way, this seems like a clear indication we shouldn't be especially nervous about losing these kinds of emotes anytime soon. For better and for worse.


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