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Signature dance moves may not be protected by copyright laws

The point of intellectual property laws in California, the United States and around the world is to allow people to profit from the creations they dream up. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, that includes inventions, art, symbols and more, which the creators may use in commerce

Forbes reports that many celebrities are claiming a popular video game company is stealing their intellectual property. The property in question? Signature dance moves. 

Within the online game, certain dance moves may be purchased by players, and these have generated thousands, if not millions, in sales for the company. Many of the dance moves have become extremely popular and are frequently seen in public, as well. The company gave the moves names, and these are also well-known.

The artists who originally made the moves popular argue that by renaming the dance moves and monetizing them, the game company has stolen their property. They believe that the company should give credit to them as the creators and compensate them with a portion of the sales. However, this claim may not be successful in court. 

Intellectual property laws do allow artists to copyright dances, but the entire sequence of movements within the dance must be arranged uniquely to be protected by the law. Only certain moves from the dances appear in the game, and taken out of the dance as a whole, these moves may not have the protection of the law, no matter how original, recognizable and lucrative they may be.

Whether litigation will be successful in clarifying the matter in favor of the dances' creators remains to be seen.

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