Sorry, Carlton, Copyright Office Unimpressed by Your Dance

It's a 'simple routine,' not something that requires a copyright, declares official
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2019 11:30 AM CST
Updated Feb 15, 2019 12:25 PM CST
Fresh Prince Star Can't Copyright the 'Carlton'
Alfonso Ribeiro attends an event in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Aug. 7, 2018.   (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

Bad news for Alfonso Ribeiro, aka Carlton: The "Carlton Dance" isn't a thing, at least not in the eyes of the Copyright Office. The three-step dance made famous by Ribeiro's character in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air "is a simple routine that is not registrable as a choreographic work," the Office's Performing Arts Division says in correspondence revealed in California federal court on Wednesday, per the Hollywood Reporter. Take-Two Interactive, one of two video-game makers Ribeiro claimed ripped off the dance, cited the denial in a motion to dismiss the copyright suit. A hearing on that motion is scheduled for March 18, reports the CBC.

The full explanation of the dance from a copyright official was cited by THR: "The dancer sways their hips as they step from side to side, while swinging their arms in an exaggerated manner," wrote the official. "In the second dance step, the dancer takes two steps to each side while opening and closing their legs and their arms in unison. In the final step, the dancer's feet are still and they lower one hand from above their head to the middle of their chest while fluttering their fingers." Add it all up, and it's not just that special, she declared. (Artist 2 Milly is suing, too.)

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