Beyonce May Get Sued For Copyright Infringement Because Of The Way She Danced

from the infringement-insanity dept

I have to admit that I still have trouble with the idea that choreography is subject to copyright. For the life of me, I can't figure out why that makes any sense. It's come up from time to time, such as when the "inventor" of "The Electric Slide" sought to pull down videos on YouTube. Then there were the heirs of a choreographer planning to go after dancers who don't pay to honor the choreographer's legacy, of course. The latest is a story making the rounds that famed singer Beyonce may be facing a copyright infringement lawsuit for a recent video. You can see the full video below, or just jump to the second video which compares some of her moves to a Belgian dance company, called Rosas, choreographed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

There's no doubt that it appears that there's a tiny portion of the Beyonce video that is inspired by the Rosas video. Historically, people would have referred to that as an homage, not as infringement, but welcome to the modern world. I'm curious, by the way, how anyone can now claim that this takes anything away from Rosas. It's not as if people will say "gee, I saw Beyonce dance like that, so I won't bother watching Rosas any more." Besides the "moves" in question seem pretty limited.

Also, the second half of the video seems to imply that some rather basic dance moves also belong to Rosas, which, if true, would make an awful lot of music videos infringing.

Filed Under: beyonce, choreography, copyright, dance moves, rosas

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  1. identicon
    ScooterBait, 10 Oct 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Breech in her breaches

    Since this video seriously lacks imagination, continuity or originality, there is no doubt the choreographer lifted the moves. Doubtless also, it was done without attribution or payment. Since dance moves are the result of imagination and innovation, they are intellectual property and should be subject to protection if the originator is actively trying to use them.
    You mislead with the fake argument that this is about viewers preferring Beyonce and not meriting the original inventor. This is about her enriching herself at another's expense. She profits from this video, so why not pay dues to the people whose ideas are being ripped?
    If, by some long stretch of the imagination, Beyond managed to popularize any of this haphazard collection of moves, the original inventor is unlikely to be rewarded through increased recognition. Given Beyonce's existing fame, Rosas would likely risk being seen as an imitator (if seen at all).
    Of course if everyday people want to use these moves, they should be free to do so. But a stage performer is a different beast, and in this case it looks like cynical theft.

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