The Electric Slide: Who Owns It?

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#21
Ric, I wish you luck with your law suit. But I can't help but think that there is something more worthwhile you could do with your time and money.

Not really - I am disabled, almost 60 and homebound.

What are you after? Do you want everyone who dances the "wrong" version of "your" dance to pay you a fee?

No - I would prefer that they learn the correct choreography


Do you think a court will order an injunction that says no one can do the incorrect version of "your" dance? What?

Not at all - I am hoping that the judge will order that all the variations, the 16, 18, & 24 step be removed from print.

1 Who handed you a copyright notice? When I got one, it came from the copyright offce. Did they hand deliver it to you? Mine came in the mail.

I printed the copyright notice on my publication in 1976. the law changed that year, but did not take effect until 1978. those with a copyright prior to that was given an extension of 25 years to submit the copyright to the Library of Congress for REGISTRATION. I started submissions in 1999.

2 If that first copyright was legal, why did you reapply?
I applied for a Registration Number, the copyright was already mine.

3 If you copyrighted the Electric that was a contra dance, what does that have to do with the Electric Slide that we have all been doing?

It was not considered a contra dance - or even a line dance - those phrases did not exist in 1976. The Electric was the 2nd "line dance" after The Bus Stop.

4 There are specific guidelines, as I understand it, about how much of another work you can use, even if it is copyrighted. This has recently been clarified(?) and there is something known as "Fair Use". I hope your lawyer is giving you good information on this and not just taking your money. Or are you your own lawyer?

I have been my own lawyer at time - but have also paid two lawyers - for nothing - and the third lawyer originally said he would handle this - but then backed out on going to court with me but still wanted his 33.3% of any monitary gains I may have made. I luckily have found a Broadway Theatrical lawyer to take the case.


Ric, we have questions for you. Think of it as practice for your day in court. If your answers to a judge are the same as the answers you are giving us...

P.S. I learned the dance before 1998, so Kickit had nothing to do with me learning the "wrong" version. In fact, when I went to my cousin's wedding in Pittsburgh, I was doing the "Western Electric" for some time before I figured out that they weren't doing the same Electric Slide that I was. Maybe you should claim that one, too.
I answered your questions within your post - it was easier that way

The Parkers - a sitcom - used the Electric in their 8th show where the daughters move out and have a housewarming party and the mothers crash the party and everyone is doing the Electric - the 22 step original version. that was done in 1998
Also - the movie The Super with Joe Peschi has a scene where the apartment tenants have a party and they invite The Super to the party and they do the 22 steps. It wasn't until 2000 that movies started coming out with the 18 step variation - and the only difference is the repeat of steps 13-16.
 

fascination

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#23
any claim of copyright, patent or trademark...is only as good as the attorney who wrote it up...any claim without such has virtually no enforceability...if you have very well documented evidence and some claim that is able to transcend obviousness, get a good attorney and give it a whirl...otherwise you are just baying at the moon
 

fascination

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#24
again, we are all wasting our breath here...person with claim will have their day in court if they choose...beyond that, they are SOL
 
#25
Is this statement true?
What most people know to be "The Electric Slide" is not the dance you created.
Not at all - the dance that most people are doing is my choreography with steps 17-20 omitted. The rocking step - forward and backward are repeated.
I created the dance with 3-3s, 2-2s a 1 and a hop what they are doing is 3-3s, 1-2, a 1 and a turn (or a turn and a scuff)
 
#26
any claim of copyright, patent or trademark...is only as good as the attorney who wrote it up...any claim without such has virtually no enforceability...if you have very well documented evidence and some claim that is able to transcend obviousness, get a good attorney and give it a whirl...otherwise you are just baying at the moon

You are incorrect - in 1976 that law were different that they are today. The 1909 act is the law that was used until 1978 when the 1976 law took effect.
At the time I created the dance (1976) the law in effect was that all you had to do was have it printed with the words copyright, the (c), The date, and your name printed on the work. I have this. The 1976 law - which did not take effect until 1978, changed that so that all copyright material had to be submitted to The Library of Congress and receive a REGISTRATION NUMBER.
Those who held copyrights prior to 1978 were given 25 years to file for a number...... unfortunately, being broke most of my life, I was unable to file what was told to me was a $300. fee for filing. When I noticed that the 25 years were running out - I finally got around to filing and unfortunately for me have had to refile the paperwork 6 times so far. The last was just submitted by my lawyer only last week.
 
#29
Try telling that to Martha Graham or Balanchine. Or any other dance company in this country who copyright their works to protect them from misuse or theft. I feel that art should be free as well - but artists have to protect themselves from theft and misrepresentation. I was a professional dancer for many years, my resume is listed at http://the-electricslide.com and I have been compared to Neuriev and Baryshnikov by a well known N Y Times art critic, until 1976 when I was teaching the Electric and someone brought a drink on the floor and I came down from a double turn in the air and landed on my right knee and tore my cartilege - which ended my dance career and I moved on to theatre performances.
I love the way you ppl tear me apart and you don't even know the true facts or bother to take the time to check out the facts on my pages. I have documentation from the accident and have finally been able to post the original copyright that was handed out the evening I premiered the dance. I had been saving that for court - but this has gotten so out of hand that I got a scanner and posted it. This copyright is at this moment with the Library of Congress being registered..... as they gave us 25 years to register a piece and being a "starving artist" I didn't have the funds available to do it before now. The registration posted on my site is for the video I submitted (my 3rd attempted submission) which can be viewed in three parts at YouTube.
We ppl?

Do me a favor--save the testimony for direct, okay? What I said I stand by; we're not talking about a ballet here. I've worked in the theatrical world for well over 30 years, and I'm also well aware of current trends in intellectual property. You think you can convince a judge that a copyright applies to any individual steps, however creatively you may want to name them, more power to you. But you might want to bear in mind what happened to Parker Brothers when they thought they had a monopoly on Monopoly.

But the essence of what I really want to say is this--I'm unaware of anything in my previous post that made reference to the actual case--which leaves me wondering why I get the honor of being quoted in a comment about how "[we] ppl" are eager to "tear [you] apart" when we "don't even know the true facts" (as distinguished, presumably, from the false ones).

I'm perfectly capable of tearing someone apart in print. I have not, as yet, done so. I'm not sure it's worth my professional time.

Good luck in court.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#30
a copyright costs virtually nothing...a patent or trademark is a different issue...so starving or not, that really isn't much of a factor...nonetheless...if you have intellectual property that is very unique and provable and you can demonstrate loss of income due to unfair use, and you have good lawyers you will be fine...and what any of us thinks is irrelevant...
 
#31
NO! But the teacher may have to pay a fee if he or she is teaching The Electric and is charging you for the class.
Then you probably should contact every line dancing teacher out there to make sure they are aware of that. Also, don't forget aerobics instructors in all the gyms out there - they are known to incorporate dance moves in their routines. :) Like ppl said in another thread on this (there was one under dance articles), it just might kill the thing.
 
#33
Then you probably should contact every line dancing teacher out there to make sure they are aware of that. Also, don't forget aerobics instructors in all the gyms out there - they are known to incorporate dance moves in their routines. :) Like ppl said in another thread on this (there was one under dance articles), it just might to kill the thing.
Amen! Any self-respecting teacher would just teach a different line dance, rather than actually pay to use the electric slide. There's better out there; right now "your" "choreography" just happens to be convenient. Charge and it will disappear completely.
 

kayak

Active Member
#34
Who would have ever imagined ... the line dance site claims to have 36506 dances, 8662 choreographers, 19910 songs. It is hard to imagine there are even 36,000 different ways to move our feet back and forth? I wonder how often choreographers accidentally duplicate part of someone else's dance? How many actually get danced outside line dance night? I'm not sure I can come up with more than 6-8 in my area?
 
#35
I was told it was $300. back in the day - and when I started filing in 2001 - I paid a lawyer in Seattle $950. to file - and it wasn't until the paperwork was returned three times from the inspector who finally called me personally to say that my lawyer didn't know what he was doing and would I let him fill out the paperwork so that he could approve it that I found out that I could have done it myself for $30.00 - I was ripped off.....
I then hired another lawyer in Dallas who charged me $800. just to look at the case and then she did nothing at all for the money and I ended up firing her and finding a third lawyer - who sent me a contract stating that he wanted 33 1/3% of all receipts but would not go to court with me.
I now have a GOOD LAWYER who is taking the case for free but is asking 50% of the receipts. I say - better 50% of something than 100% of nothing....Ric
 
#36
the only difference between my choreography and what the rest are doing is the repeated forward - backward step (13-16) It's supposed to be repeated - and they leave out the repeat. THAT'S IT!
 
#38
Many of the dances being taught have used my choreography as a base line and added "improvements" to my basic step or deleted from the basic step
that's why many of these line dance ppl are up in arms over this - because half of their dances would fall under my copyright and that would kill linedancing completely. I know of at least 18 dances right now that would fall under this catagory.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#40
I was told it was $300. back in the day - and when I started filing in 2001 - I paid a lawyer in Seattle $950. to file - and it wasn't until the paperwork was returned three times from the inspector who finally called me personally to say that my lawyer didn't know what he was doing and would I let him fill out the paperwork so that he could approve it that I found out that I could have done it myself for $30.00 - I was ripped off.....
I then hired another lawyer in Dallas who charged me $800. just to look at the case and then she did nothing at all for the money and I ended up firing her and finding a third lawyer - who sent me a contract stating that he wanted 33 1/3% of all receipts but would not go to court with me.
I now have a GOOD LAWYER who is taking the case for free but is asking 50% of the receipts. I say - better 50% of something than 100% of nothing....Ric
as long as he is taking it on contingency...and 50 percent of something is more than you have right now...but I think you have a tough case...i would love to know the case law on this...but, I would advise you not to share much else on a public forum as it could be used against you...truly you might want to cool it on here...
 
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