Epic Games looks like it is winning its battle against The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's Alfonso Ribeiro after he tried to sue the company for using the "Carlton Dance" in Fortnite. The battle royale brawler has found itself in hot water recently as several cases have been launched against the title for using potentially copyrighted dance moves.
Best known for playing Carlton Banks on the '90s sitcom, Riberio filed a lawsuit against Epic Games last year. The actor claimed that Fortnite had ripped off his signature dance that first appeared in Season 2 of the comedy series. The "Carlton Dance" became a recurring gag of the show and usually saw Ribeiro dancing comically to Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual."
A second letter highlights that Ribeiro didn't apply in the past because he presumably knows that NBC owns the rights to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the episode "Christmas Show," rather than the star himself. Finally, Ribeiro was criticized for entering his "Carlton Dance" performance from ABC's Dancing With the Stars. Given that the celebrities receive choreography from professional dancers, the letter implies that his partner Witney Carson should get the credit.
Ribeiro also filed a case against Epic Games as well as Take-Two for the NBA 2K series, but it seems like all his claims have hit a major snag. He's also making a non-copyright defense arguing that both Epic and Take-Two have used his likeness without permission. With Ribeiro's registration claim called into question, it looks like Fortnite can keep the Carlton-esque dance in the record-breaking game for now.
Elsewhere, Epic Games has urged the courts to throw out similar cases to Ribeiro's. In particular, the company has asked for judges to dismiss the allegations of copyright made by rapper 2 Milly who maintains his "Milly Rock" dance is being used in Fortnite. While there are still questions over the legitimacy of the "Carlton Dance," the various cases against Epic Games are ongoing. At least the latest rulings are a step in the right direction for Fortnite.