Alfonso Ribeiro lost his bid to copyright the “Carlton Dance” as part of his legal battle against the makers of Fortnite and NBA 2K video games. The U.S. Copyright Office denied the 47-year-old actor’s request after determining that he doesn’t own the infamous dance made popular on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
In a 29-page motion made public Wednesday (Feb. 13), registration specialist, Saskia Florence, explained that the dance is a “combination” of moves in a “simple routine that is not registrable as a choreographic work.”
The legal documents point out multiple problems with Ribeiro’s ownership claim. “This lawsuit suffers from a host of issues ranging from a lack of plausible ownership, to a lack of substantial similarity, to preemption by the Copyright Act,” reads the motion to dismiss.
Furthermore, the motion also states that Ribeiro “admitted to creating the alleged dance for the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” but didn’t try to register the dance until recently. “Presumably because he knows that he does not own the copyright.”
A hearing on the motion is scheduled for March 18.