Wedding Attendees Worldwide Rejoice: Electric Slide Legal To Use Again

from the DMCA-abuse dept

Remember how the (disputed) creator of the annoying "Electric Slide" dance had been issuing DMCA takedown notices to anyone who put up videos of people doing a version of the dance? The EFF stepped in and sued the guy for abusing the DMCA. It appears that someone finally sat down the guy and explained to him how the law works and he's now agreed to not just back away from his DMCA threats, but also to "license" the dance for non-commercial use via a Creative Commons license. Of course, this is still somewhat problematic. Why should anyone need to license the dance from him? While it sounds nice that he's offering a CC license, doesn't that just reinforce the idea that he can actually tell people how they can dance?

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  1. identicon
    ReallyEvilCanine, 22 May 2007 @ 11:40pm


    Why should anyone need to license the dance from him?

    Because the entire dance -- these particular moves in this particular order -- was a creative work, like a ballet only shorter. His copyright doesn't prevent people dancing any of the component steps, not even if they do it in the order he copyrighted. His copyright is for works featuring that set of moves termed "Electric Slide", a misnomer of the original dance, The Electric, ©1976.

    Choreography can be copyrighted. Paid performances must be licensed, subject to (the precious few) copyright limitations. As I understand it, he has no claim against any person or group spontaneously dancing the Electric, only against the commercial use of this dance. He might have something to say if one of Clear Channel's CW radio stations held an Electric Slide contest, but there's not much he can do when a bunch of good ol' boys and gals decide to start Sliding on a Friday night after a few rounds.

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