Left to Right: Fortnite Dancing Character, US Copyright Office Seal, TikTok logo

Literally Stealing the Show: A Brief (and Recent) History of Dance Copyright

JaQuel Knight, renowned choreographer behind Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” and Cardi B’s “WAP,” choreography, recently made moves by launching Knight Choreography and Music Publishing Inc. Knight’s company will oversee rights to dance moves, similar to how music publishers protect the intellectual property of their own clients. In order to know why this is significant, let’s take a look back at the recent history of dance, copyright, and ALA Code of Ethics.

Harold Lloyd's character in the film Safety Last hangs from a clocktower over a busy street, looking alarmed.

The Public Domain Grows in 2019

For the first time this century, a wide array of artworks, books, music and films fell into the public domain. Works in the public domain, which now includes those created in 1923, are no longer under copyright protection, so anyone who enjoys creating something can make use of works in the public domain for inspiration. While the late 20th century saw a copyright term that only got longer, the 21st century sees the public domain finally grow.