Ribeiro launched the lawsuit last month
Alfonso Ribeiro has dropped his lawsuit against the makers of Fortnite, after he claimed the hugely popular game was infringing on his copyright by using the “Carlton dance” without permission.
Players in the online game can command their characters in the game to perform the iconic dance, known as an emote, which was popularised during Ribeiro’s time playing Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
In February, he argued that Fortnite creators Epic Games owed him money for using the dance without prior permission.
“The reaction from many players worldwide was immediate recognition of the emote as embodying The Dance and, in turn, Ribeiro,” the lawsuit stated.
“Indeed, by naming the emote ‘Fresh,’ Epic intentionally induced a direct connection between the in-game purchase and the show where The Dance started, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
“That connection implied an endorsement of that in-game purchase by Ribeiro.”
After filing his suit in federal court, Ribeiro’s case encountered an unexpected hiccup when the U.S. Copyright Office turned down his attempt to trademark the dance.
According to court papers seen by The Blast, Ribeiro has now decided to pull the case. “This action is dismissed by the Plaintiff(s) in its entirety,” the documents state.
Ribeiro was also joined by rapper 2 Milly who sued Epic Games last year, for using the ‘Milly Rock’ dance.
Despite the setback, Ribeiro could still prevail. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ribeiro’s decision to drop the lawsuit is merely “procedural”.
“We will continue to vigorously fight for our clients’ rights against those who wrongly take their creations without permission and without compensation,” attorney David Hecht confirmed.
Fortnite has come under fire in recent months for the apparent appropriation of various dances as purchasable player emotes. Other xamples include BlocBoy JB’s ‘shoot’ dance and the moves from Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’.