When Alfonso Riberio filed a lawsuit against Fortnite and NBA 2k for stealing his intellectual property I almost laughed. I was in the car and the podcast I was listening to started discussing it. Going further down the rabbit hole of people with amazing lawsuits against developers is back pack kid. Some days when I read the news and I listen to what is going on I ask myself…..is this real. Back to the stupid that is Alfonso on December 17th 2018 he filed a lawsuit in federal court asserting the Epic games and Take two interactive has used the “Carlton Dance” with out his permission of credit. Alfonso requested that the judge stop both parties form using the moves as he was in the process of copy writing it. Now comes the Federal governments Copyright Office.
I am thinking this case will go on for ever and the government will just drag the process out. For two of the pieces that Alfonso claims as intellectually created property the registration supervisor of the federal government department of Copyright stated
“the combination of these three dance steps is a simple routine that is not registrable as a choreographic work.”
The supervisor went on to say that the in performance that Alfonso submitted from the 2014 season of dancing with the stars as proof of his use of the dance, that the person dancing with him Whitney Carson could also then be counted as a choreographer in the instance he cited, and since she was contracted though ABC then ABC would own part of this dance.
Taking an even harder look at this specific lawsuit you can find clips from 2012 I which Alfonso states he “stole” the moves from Courtney Cox and Eddie Murphy as his impression of a white person looks like when dancing. Setting aside the rife hypocrisy in making statement like this and thinking about people in such a degrading manner. He used the word stole. While Alfonso lawyers have argued that he was using the word stole in jest it still demonstrates that what he claims as intellectual property is really him sampling from other artists.
This leads me to my closing. This may seem like a small thing and something that shouldn’t gain any real attention and I would agree if this lawsuit had simply been beaten on its merits in court. What I think should be drawn from this and It is why I am interested in it, is the government upheld the rights of the public and fair use. They may not have came out and said it this way. But that is truly what this argument was all about.
If anything you create remotely represents something someone has done before then there would be nothing creative. If people are allowed to steal under these sorts of arguments, and yes I would call this an attempt to steal. There will be a diminishing desire for people and companies to make creative things. To think that someone putting three or four movements of there body together would entitle them to millions of dollars made by a company that worked hard to create and awesome video game is sheer nonsense and should be treated as such. I hope that no one takes Alfonso Riberio serious in the future. Thanks for stopping by, If you liked the video smash that like button, and If you would like to see more content hit that subscribe button. Till next time.