Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is sueing the creators of the wildly popular Fortnite game for the use of his iconic (but non-trademarked) dance without his consent. I grew up with Fresh Prince and my kids are growing up on Fortnite so this story resonates on two different levels.

The suit claims that “Epic get consent to use, display, reproduce, sell, or create a derivate work based upon The Dance or Ribiero’s likeness.” The suit also adds that “Epic has unfairly profited from exploiting Ribeiro’s protected creative expression and likeness and celebrity without his consent or authorization.”

Now, there is no disputing that he created the 'Carlton' dance and that we associate it with him every time that we see someone do it, but it is curious that after all of this time, he hadn't tried copywrite his dance until now (which isn't finalized yet.) Although not legally required to do so, Epic Games probably should've at least opened dialogue with him about it, especially since they've monetized it or this likely wouldn't even be news. Also, it bears mentioning that the company is being sued by other non-copywrited dance creators, like the guy who created 'The Floss', etc.

My opinion: the Carlton dance is definitely Alfonso's whether it's legally copywrited or not, but I also think that we have a society have become excessively whiny and have become increasingly resistant to solving problems amongst ourselves, much less preventing them. Fortnite should've included Alfonso and others in it's earnings for using their dances and Alfonso and others should've copywrited their dances just like everyone else does when (or before) their so-called intellectual property goes viral. Personally, I think it's sad that we HAVE to copywrite anything at all, but I understand it's necessity from a business prerspective. Insert meme of parent seprating two fighting kids here.


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