Are you dancing today for #TarHeelToneUp for the #TarGramChallenge?

Once you start getting into copyright law, you realize that copyright law is everywhere. We have even seen it in dance. Anne Gilliland dances English Country Dances, and when I was younger, I took ballroom and swing dancing classes at my alma mater. We often don’t think of dance as involving copyright.  Today is Tar Heel tone Up, and maybe you’re doing “Cardio Funk,” “Zumba,” Z2” or “Ballet Sculpt.” Maybe you’re going to go to a dance night or dance around in your room. Did you know that dance may have a copyright interest like your novel or song? The dance moves may have a copyright interest as you’re stretching out or toning up.

To qualify for copyright protection you have to “fix the work in a tangible form of expression.” More simply put, according to the Copyright Office, your choreography, “. . . can be embodied in a film or video recording or be precisely described on a phonorecord, in written text, or in a dance notation system such as Labanotation, Sutton Movement Shorthand, or Benesh Notation.” The Dance Heritage Coalition has even produced a “Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use of Dance-Related Materials” if you want to review some information before coming and talking to us in the Scholarly Communications Office.

Check out the fitness classes over at the rec and dance away. If you’re developing your own dance class, dance, or want to perform someone else’s dance, come over to the Scholarly Communications Office and talk to us! We can’t advise you on the dance, and we might be able to dance poorly, but we can definitely advise you on how to protect your work or give it away for free.