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
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2011 @ 3:45pm

    When Donaldson v Beckett reached the House of Lords in 1774 Lord Camden was most strident in his rejection of the common law copyright, warning the Lords that should they vote in favour of common law copyright, effectively a perpetual copyright, "all our learning will be locked up in the hands of the Tonsons and the Lintots of the age". Moreover he warned that booksellers would then set upon books whatever price they pleased "till the public became as much their slaves, as their own hackney compilers are". He declared that "Knowledge and science are not things to be bound in such cobweb chains."


    Funny how history keeps playing itself in circles, is like people never learn how to find a balance.

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