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Alfonso Ribeiro has lost his bid to copyright the “Carlton Dance,” his infamous dance from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

California federal courts released a document this week where U.S Copyright Office supervisory registration specialist Saskia Florence classified Alfonso’s groovy moves as “simple dance routine.”

But, Saskia wasn’t done. She also told David Hecht, Ribeiro’s lawyer:

The dancer sways their hips as they step from side to side, while swinging their arms in an exaggerated manner.

The combination of these three dance steps is a simple routine that is not registrable as a choreographic work.

The fact that a dance or movement may contain more than a trivial amount of original authorship is irrelevant to this determination. Social dances, simple routines and other uncopyrightable movements are not ‘choreographic works.’


In December, Alfonso Ribeiro sued “Fortnite” for copyright infringement claiming they unfairly copied his signature “Carlton Dance” in the game.

Considering the fact that Alfonso couldn’t obtain a copyright for his own dance…I’m sure his lawsuit against “Fortnite” won’t go very far.



Do you think he should have been granted the copyright for the “Carlton Dance?”

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