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Alfonso Ribeiro, Who Played Carlton on ‘Fresh Prince,’ Can’t Copyright the Character’s Dance Moves

Feb 14, 2019  •  Post A Comment

The U.S. Copyright Office dealt a blow to actor Alfonso Ribeiro in his effort to sue two videogame makers over his “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” character Carlton’s dance moves.

The AP reports that the office denied Ribeiro a copyright for the dance.

“The denial from the U.S. Copyright Office was revealed Wednesday in a motion to dismiss Ribeiro’s lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive, the makers of NBA 2K16, which Ribeiro says illegally makes use of the dance,” the AP reports. “The document denying the copyright says the moves in the ‘Carlton’ represent a simple dance routine rather than a work of choreography, which can be copyrighted.”

The motion to dismiss is scheduled to be heard March 18.

“Ribeiro’s dance was popularized through his character, Carlton Banks, on the 1990s sitcom,” the AP notes, adding: “He’s also suing Epic Games over the use of the dance in ‘Fortnite,’ joining several rappers suing the game over dances.”

Ribeiro broke into the Carlton a few years ago during an appearance on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Here’s the clip — watch for the crowd-pleasing Carlton at the 54-second mark …

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