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Judge Denies Copyright Claim For Famous ‘Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ ‘Carlton’ Dance

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The U.S. Copyright Office has denied “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor Alfonso Ribeiro’s copyright claim to his famous dance known as “The Carlton,” according to the Associated Press.

Ribeiro starred as Carlton Banks from 1990-1996 on the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Among other things, his character is widely known for a colorful dance, which he recently tried to copyright due to the use of a similar dance in the popular video game, “Fortnight.”

Ribiero sued Epic Games, the creator of Fortnight in an effort to halt the dance routine, but was rebuffed by the copyright office. (RELATED: ‘Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ Reboot In The Works, But There’s One Big Change)


The document denying Ribiero’s copyright claimed that the Fortnight dance was just a simple dance move and not a riff of the famous dance from the iconic 90s sitcom. According to copyright law, a choreography can be copyrighted, but a simple dance move cannot. The copyright office ruled this one as the latter.

Better luck next time, Carlton.

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