Black Creators Finally Receive Copyrights for Viral TikTok Dances

by Shine My Crown Staff

OHIOTikTok creator Keara Wilson, the creator of the viral #SavageChallenge, is now one of several Black TikTok dancers who have received a copyright for their conceptions.

Wilson, originally from Ohio, was recognized at a dinner for Black, Indigenous and people of color creators hosted by tech company Logitech and choreographer JaQuel Knight.

Logitech and Knight have partnered to help 10 innovators of color obtain their copyrights after creating Labanotation. According to the website, Labanotation “captures movement on the page so that it can be shared in all parts of the world and with future generations.”

Young Deji, the creator of “The Woah “; Shayné and Zhané Stanley, better known as the Nae Nae Twins and creators of the “Savage Remix” dance; Mya Johnson and Chris Cotter, creators of the “Up” dance, also received copyrights for their work.

“If you’re creating a move, it becomes the street’s, it becomes the culture, it becomes the people’s move,” Knight told The Hollywood Reporter. “The issue comes in when people start to make money — millions of dollars — off of your sequence.”

He added, “We’re seeing the dance being the main character, and in the end, the dance is not getting compensated how the other supporting characters or the background actors are. It’s all about starting to treat and respect the choreography in the same way that we’re respecting the music.”

Logitech will also fund a short film — led by Knight’s J.K. Creatives Inc., Mary Pelloni and Meridith Rojas from Logitech for Creators — that will document a group of creatives seeking copyrights for their work. Knight’s journey to copyright his choreography for Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” will also be spotlighted in the documentary.

In June, TikTok creators went on strike after Jimmy Fallon invited TikTok star Addison Rae (who is white) on the “Tonight Show” to teach him popular dances from the app — all dances created by Black TikTok creators. None of them were credited during that episode.

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