copyright question

Can a dance move be copyrighted?
Everybody knows the Michael Jackson “moonwalk” but check out this video from YouTube showing doing the same moves decades before.

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I am not an expert AT ALL, but just by common sense I would say “no”. Copyrighting actual physical movements (especially since no satisfactory way of recording them to a fixed medium for reproduction by others a’la sheet music exists to my knowledge) I’m not sure is feasable. Now particular PERFORMANCES, such as Jackson performing the Moonwalk at a concert, or a movie choreographed by Bob Fosse, those can and are copyrighted. I’m just not sure the move itself can be.

I do know that the choreography of the moves in a ballet is written down in a standardized form. I would be curious to know if this written choreography could be copyrighted. As for dance moves as in the linked video, I doubt it.

The written choreography, I’d guess, would be treated like written sheet music. And I didn’t know that they actually have written choreography. Y’learn something new every day! :smiley:

Yeah, and it used to be all in French. Now they’ve gone over to a symbolic language, altho I think the instructions for the classical ballets may still be in French.

I’d say the “performance” of written ballet choreography can’t be copyrighted since a performance cannot be duplicated: each is unique.

Of course, the content of a film of ballet would be copyrighted, and the film is somebody’s performance, but that’s different, Even the people in the film couldn’t duplicate their own performance.

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