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Fortnite dances cause legal controversy

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Fortnite dances cause legal controversy

Fortnite has gotten into legal issues regarding their dances and licensing

Fortnite has gotten into legal issues regarding their dances and licensing

Photo via Google

Fortnite has gotten into legal issues regarding their dances and licensing

Photo via Google

Photo via Google

Fortnite has gotten into legal issues regarding their dances and licensing

Sarah Bagay, Staff Writer

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Teens are fond of Fortnite dances such as “Electro Shuffle,” “Tidy,” and “Hype.” They might not know, however, that the game’s creator has been accused of stealing dances from actors, rappers, and Internet celebrities.

The legal issue is difficult, though. While songs can be copyrighted, dance moves may be a different matter.

Dumb and Dumber, released in 1994, features Jim Carrey doing a goofy dance. A similar dance appears in Fortnite, called the “Hootenanny.”

Donald Faison was in the TV sitcom Scrubs. He invented the “Poison” dance on the spot while shooting the episode. Fortnite has a similar dance called “Dance Moves.” Faison thinks Fortnite stole the dance and he doesn’t approve of it — which led people to say, “He’s the Scrubs salty star.”

In the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the actor Alfonso Ribeiro portrayed the character Carlton. He combined two dances —  Eddie Murphy’s “White Boy Dance” and Courtney Cox’s dancing from the Bruce Springsteen “Dancing in the Dark” video — and added his own flair to create “The Carlton.” Fortnite has a similar dance called the “Fresh.”

Ribeiro initially sued Fortnite, but later withdrew the suit.

The U.S. Copyright Office said the “Carlton” is more of a “simple dance routine” than a work of choreography. The dance move was described as one in which “the dancer sways their hips as they step from side to side while swinging their arms in an exaggerated manner.”

Copyrighting dance moves is difficult. Not only does the copyright office indicate a difference between a dance move and full choreography, but many dance moves are put together including pieces of other dances.

The next time teens win Fortnite and break into their favorite dance, however, they might want to remember that those moves aren’t necessarily original.

About the Writer
Sarah Bagay, Staff Writer

Sarah is a junior and a first-year staff writer. She participates in Baldwin’s choir and Baldwinaires, and she also can be found writing one of her many...

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Fortnite dances cause legal controversy