Andrew Eborn on Saturday Morning With Esther and Philip | Saturday 8th October

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Andrew Eborn on Saturday Morning With Esther and Philip | Saturday 8th October

Bolt, Bush & the Billion Dollar Industry
From Strictly to the Floss dance to celebratory poses
– can you protect your moves?

–     IP protection for dance and celebratory poses

–     Copyright protects dance routines

–     Court holds individual dance steps, however, are not protected

–     Trade Marks secured for Mo Farah’s iconic “Mobot” & Gareth Bale’s “Eleven of Hearts”

–     Usain Bolt Trade Mark application for his signature victory pose

–    Multi Billion Dollar market

–    Get Your rights right!

Strictly is back sparkling on our screens but what protections are there for the dance routines?
Generally, copyright is a bundle of property rights which subsist in original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works as well as sound recordings, films broadcasts and typographical arrangements.

Dramatic works include a work of dance or mime.

The first owner of copyright is the person who creates the work ie the choreographer or if the work is made in the course of employment the employer subject to any agreement to the contrary.

Copyright general lasts for 70 years after the creator’s death.

Whilst copyright may protect a whole dance routine, the same protection may not be afforded to individual moves.

The US Copyright Office has said that individual dance moves, however, are not protected.

It therefore rejected the dance move known as the ‘Floss,’ created by Russell Horning aka Backpack Kid in 2016. The Floss became popular following the young performer’s appearance together with Katy Perry on Saturday Night Live in May 2017.

When those steps are incorporated into a larger body of work, the Copyright Office registered the routine.

Where there’s a hit there’s a writ.

Epic Games, the US video game and software developer and publisher founded in 1991 by CEO Tim Sweeney, has been subjected to several copyright claims regarding dance emotes used in its online video game, Fortnite. Emotes are dance moves or other actions players can purchase for their characters to perform.

A recent claim brought against it by choreographer, Kyle Hanagami.

Kyle Hanagami has choreographed for artists such as BlackPink, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, CNCO, Justin Beiber and NSync, and has partnered with global brands including Nike, Disney and Calvin Klein. He has built an online empire with his numerous viral dance videos and holds the title for the most viewed YouTube dance video of all time, with his choreography to Ed Sheeran’s – Shape of You.

Kyle Hanagami claimed that one of the dance emotes called “It’s Complicated” used in Epic Games online video game, Fortnite, used movements from a copyrighted routine created for Charlie Puth’s 2017 hit song, “How Long”.

Kyle Hanagami created his choreography to Charlie Puth’s song “How Long” in 2017. Fortnite launched the “It’s Complicated” emote in August 2020.

During the case Kyle Hanagami’s attorney showcased a video of the choreography next to the Fortnite emote, highlighting the similarities between the two.

Epic Games argued that the moves in the dance routine are “too generic” to be afforded copyright protection. The US District Court judge Stephen Wilson dismissed the lawsuit and ruled that the two works do not share enough “creative elements” for the Fortnite emote to constitute infringement.

“In large part defendant relies on guidance from the US Copyright Office, which recognizes the continuum between copyrightable choreography and uncopyrightable dance.”

US Judge Stephen Wilson went on to explain in his ruling that the “guidance from the Copyright Office suggests that the steps are unprotectable.”

In summary, it was held that Epic Games had not copied enough of the choreography routine for it to be considered copyright infringement.

Whilst individual moves may not be protected by copyright other intellectual property law protection may be available for signature celebratory poses and victory dances.

Branding is a vital part of sport and a multi-billion Dollar business.

Sport has produced several iconic celebratory expressions including Mo Farah’s iconic “mobot,” Gareth Bale’s “Eleven of Hearts” and Christiano Ronaldo’s “Siu” celebration in which he runs, jumps and then turns with his arms outstretched, before shouting the word ‘siuuuu!’ as he lands.
Mo Farah has already Trade Marked his MOBOT UK00002645895 and Gareth Bale his Eleven of Hearts UK00002657917

Usain Bolt is looking to follow suit.

Usain Bolt made his Olympic debut in Athens in 2004. A leg injury led to him being eliminated in the first round of the 200 meters. He is now considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time. He is a record holder in the 100 meters (9.58 seconds), 200 metres (19.19 seconds) and 4 x 100 metre relay (36.84 seconds).

In the 2016 Olympics he achieved the triple triple, 3 gold medals at 3 consecutive Olympic Games.  He celebrated his win in the 200 metres with his now famous “To The World Pose”

Photograph of President George Bush by kind permission of Lenny Di Lorenzo
© Lenny Di Lorenzo 2022 All Rights Reserved Available for licensing contact

Usain Bolt has now applied for a Trade Mark in the US for his signature victory pose.

 “The silhouette of a man in a distinctive pose, with one arm bent and pointing to the head, and the other arm raised and pointing upward”.

According to the filing Usain Bolt intends to use the mark on various items including clothing, jewellery and shoes, as well as restaurants and sports bars.

The potential commercial value is significant.

Nike’s “Jumpman” logo, featuring a silhouetted Michael Jordan with a basketball, reported to be worth several billion Dollars. According to Forbes up to 2020 Nike had paid Michael Jordan an estimated $1.3 billion since it signed its first deal with him in 1984.

Getting the rights right is key. Don’t miss out… get in touch!

Andrew Eborn – upcoming engagements

1st October Andrew Eborn Legal Review live from Athens.

As part of Andrew Eborn’s regular weekly spot for GB News Andrew Eborn will be discussing the latest legal cases from around the world live from Athens.  

17th October Cannes Drama Awards

Andrew Eborn has been invited back to host these prestigious awards.

Tech & creativity live: how to make live broadcasting content more attractive with AR/VR

Andrew Eborn has again been engaged to host and interview key industry players from around the world regarding the latest developments in technology

18th October – TBS Game show launch Cannes 

Andrew Eborn has again been engaged to launch the latest TV Game Show from TBS following the global success of Takeshi’s Castle and Ninja Warrior.  

19th October Cannes MIPCOM Film & TV Market Tech and Creativity

The Future of Film and TV drama created by virtual/ remote/ cloud production sponsored by Sony  

Andrew Eborn has again been invited to host and interview industry leaders from around the world. 

29th October Hollywood comes to Luton.

Andrew Eborn presents Hollywood comes to Luton.  The first in the series will be with John Stevenson who has over 40 years’ experience in international film development and production including Shrek, the Muppets, Toy Story, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda which grossed over US$600 million worldwide.

16th November 2022 Moorfields Academy 

Andrew Eborn has again been booked to host, media train, interview and film key industry figures


Andrew believes that there are many injustices which do not get the
media attention they deserve, or indeed desperately need the oxygen of
publicity for their cause.  This is where Andrew hopes to help.  By
focusing on the injustice and assisting to promote, Andrew is keen to
give an initial helping hand in any way he can make possible.

If there are particular issues you would like Andrew Eborn to
investigate please provide information here so he may be able to
assess if he can provide you with help.
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© Andrew Eborn 2022

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