Filewrapper®

Are wedding receptions full of copyright infringers?

February 06, 2007
Post by Blog Staff

Maybe, if you ask Richard Silver. Mr. Silver claims to have invented the dance known as the "Electric Slide" at a disco in 1976. He registered a copyright on his performance of the dance in 2004. While Mr. Silver's claims may seem dubious (such as, for example, his claims on his website that he also invented break dancing and "the robot" dance), he has, thus far, been vigorous in using copyright law to defend what he perceives are his rights in the dance. For example, he entered into an agreement with Oprah Winfrey's production company, Harpo Productions, Inc., for the Electric Slide to be performed on an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006. He has also attempted to get the Ellen DeGeneres Show to pay for a segment that aired in 2006 where Ellen and a group of dancers taught the Electric Slide to her class reunion. In addition to these, using the power of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Mr. Silver has sent takedown notices to YouTube, the popular video hosting site recently purchased by Google, requesting that all videos depicting the Electric Slide be taken down as infringing his copyright. Some whose videos were taken down have rehosted their videos elsewhere, and plan on fighting back against Mr. Silver. Regardless of the merits of Mr. Silver's claims, his case shows the potential outer reaches of the DMCA, and, if Mr. Silver's claims prove to be unfounded, the potential abuse of the DMCA by an individual with a copyright registration. Also, maybe stick to the Chicken Dance at the next wedding reception you attend. Update (11:10 am): As noted by Public Knowledge, the choreography may have passed into the public domain for failure to timely file the copyright registration. This is a possibility, depending on the facts surrounding the creation of the dance, and one more argument for those on the wrong end of a complaint by Mr. Silver.


Post Categories

Comments (0)
Post a Comment



Captcha Image
Return to the Filewrapper Blog

Search Posts

Purpose

The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

Disclaimer

McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. provides this blog for general informational purposes only. By using this blog, you agree that the information on this blog does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created between you and McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. Do not consider this blog to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified, licensed attorney. While we try to revise this blog on a regular basis, it may not reflect the most current legal developments. We consciously refrain from expressing opinions on this blog and instead, offer it as a form of information and education, however if there appears an expression of opinion, realize that those views are indicative of the individual and not of the firm as a whole.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Enter your name and email address to receive the latest news and updates from us and our attorneys.

Subscribe to: MVS Newsletter

Subscribe to: Filewrapper® Blog Updates

  I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of McKee, Vorhees & Sease, P.L.C.