Black Creators Get Copyright Protection for Work, Choreography

By: Alyssa Wilson

Several Black creators now have their genius and choreography safe under copyright protections.  

Award-winning choreographer JaQuel Knight and Logitech joined forces to recognize diverse creators to address barriers disproportionately impacting them.  

The creators were surprised with the news at a dinner hosted by Logitech and Knight, Business Wire reported. Keara Wilson, Young Deji, the Nae Nae twins, Mya Johnson and Chris Cotter were the digital creators given the protections, while Fullout Cortland and Chloe Arnold received protections for the choreography celebrities performed.  

Wilson created the viral challenge to Megan Thee Stallion’s song “Savage”, Young Deji created the dance “The Woah”, the Nae Nae twins coined the dance moves to the “Savage Remix” by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé and Mya Johnson, and Chris Cotter created the dance to Cardi B’s “Up.”  

Fullout Cortland choreographed the moves for Doja Cat’s “Say So” performance at the 2020 Billboard Awards, and Chloe Arnold choreographed the moves to “Salute A Legend” performed by the Syncopated Ladies.  

“I am so thrilled to announce this collaboration with The JaQuel Knight Foundation and Logitech, a remarkable step in our goal toward creating a system of protection for young creators,” Knight said. “The JK Foundation was ultimately started to provide a place of support for dancers (during an extremely fragile time in the pandemic, nonetheless), and to put the power back in the artists’ hands not just for myself, but for the next JaQuel Knight. For all of the little boys and girls who look like me.” 

In June, Black TikTok creators went on strike in an effort to get recognition for creating viral dance trends seen on social media that white creators often took without credit.  

RELATED: Black TikTok Creators Launched Strike to Call out Exploitation, Cultural Appropriation 

According to Business Wire, copyrighting choreography is challenging and rare. The U.S. Copyright Office reported that the agency received less than 20 choreographic applications out of the 500,000 it receives each year for “dramatic works.”  

Copyrighting choreography gives power to creators and positions their work as intellectual property, ensuring they receive credit if the moves are used in films, commercials or games. The creator can also receive compensation for the use of their work.  


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