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Mon, Jan. 29th, 2007, 10:03 pm
Well, I guess I won't be doing the electric slide any time soon.

So, in my post about the Sub Level 03 show at Further Confusion, the video of the opening song had a couple of line dancers doing what I believe was the Electric Slide. The description of the video said as such.

I just got a terms of service violation notice from YouTube.

Dear Member:

This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by claiming that this material is infringing:

Further Confusion 2007 - Sub Level 3:

Yes. There is a copyright on the Electric Slide.

This is going to the press, damnit. Imma change the world with a copyright hassle over the world's stupidest line dance as portrayed in video from a furry con dancefloor. (
Permanent link for the video, 12mb, DiVX6)

Internet business has never been seriouser.

Update: So, I thought this was possibly a joke but it's always fun to be taken in by them and then watch your friends flounder at least. However, the more research I do, the more real this looks.

Domain Name..........
Creation Date........ 2006-02-08
Registration Date.... 2006-02-08
Expiry Date.......... 2007-02-08
Organisation Name.... Lycos, Inc.
Organisation Address. 35 Village Lane Ste. #2
Organisation Address.
Organisation Address. Groton
Organisation Address. 06340
Organisation Address. CT
Organisation Address. UNITED STATES

Admin Name........... Richard Silver
Admin Address........ 35 Village Lane Ste. #2
Admin Address........
Admin Address........ Groton
Admin Address........ 06340
Admin Address........ CT
Admin Address........ UNITED STATES
Admin Email..........
Admin Phone.......... 860-448-6341
Admin Fax............ +1.7814667060

Tech Name............ Lycos Domains NIC
Tech Address......... 100 Fifth Ave
Tech Address.........
Tech Address......... Waltham
Tech Address......... 02451
Tech Address......... MA
Tech Address......... UNITED STATES
Tech Email...........
Tech Phone........... +1.7813702700
Tech Fax.............
Name Server..........
Name Server..........

Registry Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Registry Status: clientTransferProhibited

There is also a Personal Infringement Letter written to another website concerning this same thing.

Update 2:

From the creator's YouTube Video comments:

"[...] the choreography and this video are all under copyright as well as the words I speak in this video

Update 3:

Thanks to keskitsune, I'm now aware of the pit of... wikipedianess that is the Talk Thread on the Electric Slide Wikipedia Article.

What do you think the chances are I could get Ellen Degeneres to help out on this?

Update 4:

From Ric's youtube video that I posted on:

Any video that shows my choreography being done incorrectly is being removed - I don't want future generations having to learn it wrong and then relearn it as I am being faced with now because of certain sites and ppl that have been teaching it incorrectly and without my permission. That's the reason I compyright protected it in the 1st place.

Yay for gross misuse of the legal system! This will be easy to counter-claim.

Update 5:

Oh, and for anyone curious about the copyright

Registered Works Database (Author Search)

Search For: SILVER, RICHARD LOUIS, 1948-
Item 1 of 1
1. Registration Number: PA-1-274-833
Title: The electric.
Description: Videocassette ; 1/2 in.
Claimant: Richard Louis Silver , 1948-
Created: 2004
Published: 26Mar04
Registered: 11Jun04
Title on © Application: The Electric slide.
Author on © Application: words & video production: Richard Louis Silver.
Previous Related Version: Some material by Ric Silver preexisting as "Electric."
Miscellaneous: C.O. corres.
Special Codes:4/X/D

Yup, the copyright is on the tape of the dance being taught, not the dance itself.

Thanks to sockscatt, dogcandy, and others for pointing that out.

Update 6:

Someone else gets hit.

Seriously. The blogosphere is firing up. How long 'til the flash mobs and mashups begin.

Update 7:

The video returns!

Sub Level 03 @ Further Confusion 2007 on Vimeo

Hopefully I'll be able to keep it on Vimeo for a while, since it's smaller than youtube (and I like their interface a lot more)

According to wikipedia, The Electric Slide is the default dance of the female Tauren in WoW.

Ric Silver's tripod site, listing all lawsuits and licensing issues he's fighting so far

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC)

I like how the official electric slide has copyrighted characters doing their copyrighted dance...

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 06:36 am (UTC)

Wow. As if the video was going to create some sort of financial hardship for the copyright holder, right?

That's just in the realm of people sniffing around for lawsuits or sh!t-stirring wherever they can. Ugh. =/

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 07:26 am (UTC)
keskitsune: Ric Silver needs cockpunched

If he were any more of a douchebag, he'd squirt saline up peoples' intimate areas. Plus, a cursory glance at copyright law seems to suggest that the electric slide may not be copyrighted. As it was originated in 1976, the Berne Convention was not part of US code. Thus, there is more than a good probability that Mr. Silver's claims are complete and utter bullshit. Course, IANAL, so talk to a copyright lawyer first.

Additionally, as rainbow_roo has stated, you have a strong fair use case here. A group of furries dancing is highly unlikely to cause any sort of financial damage to Mr. Silver.

Of course, the whole situation is one of harassment, plain and simple. Most people don't want to go through the hassles of a legal challenge, thus simply roll over, and judging from the wikipedia talk page, Mr. Silver seems to love making these legal threats of dubious merit.

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC)
qdot: Re: Ric Silver needs cockpunched

Well apparently Ric Silver has never met an attention whore blogger with too much time on his hands and a love for setting legal precedent!

I haven't met one either yet, but once I find them, I'm so gonna have them all over this.

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 07:36 am (UTC)
keskitsune: Re: Ric Silver needs cockpunched

Yeah, unfortunately, like you, I'm too busy making money to handle legal precedents. Damn this enjoyment of being able to buy nice things with my money.

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 07:41 am (UTC)
wolfwings: Re: Ric Silver needs cockpunched

Lose the attention whore part, and I'm all for throwing myself under the legal axe for something like this.

It's just... geezus, this is layers of insanity.

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 07:48 am (UTC)

Under copyright law something which is taught may not be copyrighted. The material is passed on for fair use. Video taping someone doing something which they learned is not breech of copyright. But if someone were to learn from the bozo then go start a class then that could be an issue. Guess my high school is going to get sued, line dancing was taught as a part of gym class.

There is no legal standing for what he is asking. In face you may now bring a lawsuit for harassment with any costs thrown in and mental distress this has caused!

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 08:01 am (UTC)

He TRIPPED in his own demo piece!

Something tells me he didn't really "invent" it, just just wants to get a power trip. I ran into this problem over on cafe press, someone claimed to have a copyright on yellow "warning" signs, and cafe press didn't have the stones to challenge it.

Same on e-bay with someone I knew who posted art of a "mother and child", and someone e-mailed her a nastygram about how "mother and child" was their exclusive copyright and she needed to take it down or he'd sue her. She told him to bring it on and produced a lawyer for him to contact. He never did.

Suggestion, repost it without the talk about the "slide".

*random LJer, don't mind me...*

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 08:32 am (UTC)
sockscatt: loophole in the whole affair

Wait a sec, looking at his copyright, I see this :

Registration Number: PA-1-274-833
Title: The electric.
Description: Videocassette ; 1/2 in.

His copyright is on the VIDEO?!? NOT the dance, but the VIDEO of it? I went as far as to TELNET into the US copright site, and I'm pretty sure his copyright is on the VIDEO of the electric slide, and not the dance itself. As such, he may be pressing that his rights are to all "video taped renditions" of the dance, and not of the dance itself.

He may also be mis-representing his copyright to throw his weight around. I say this because, from his own site, "but I would love to see you linedancers try it in competition." He made a fast buck from Oprah, and I'd go as far as to say he's just throwing his weight around and waiving a copyright around to make himself feel like a big fish.

Plus if he's going to claim that he has copyright over "all variations" of his "dance", then he will get canned in a court of law when he goes after someone who does something similar but different. Trust me, a lot of "patents" and "copyrights" like this are destroyed when they reach a court of law. I remember one where the judge, in his final comments, told the president of a company "There's no way you are smart enough to have invented what you claimed to invent!" as he destroyed the patent.

I can see this being a similar case. :)

Fri, Jul. 11th, 2008 05:31 am (UTC)

But then my HP (not quite brand new but not old, either) doesn't dance with X. It looks like most of the fancier (=dearer) models do, though.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC)
nycsdancer: demo

If you had read - I just got out of the hospital for a total knee replacement three months before this video - 12/03/03 - the video was made 3/4/04
Like to see you get up and dance after total knee surgery

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
sockscatt: You want to play? Bring it.

I'll take that challenge.

I've got video of me playing DDR, a "dancing simulation game", TWO WEEKS AFTER MAJOR BACK SURGERY.

I had to have a portion of my spine removed so they could remove a herniated disk. TWO WEEKS LATER I was playing DDR. 3 months later I was back to my normal routine. 6 months later I was playing paintball and snowboarding. So your example holds little to no water for me, I've been there, done that, and made my own t-shirt.

Keep defending yourself and making yourself feel big by forcing other people to remove content UNRELATED to your so-called unique move. Especially people who aren't even "stealing" your move or making money on it. The whole point of this thread is that someone shot concert footage, mentioned that the audience was doing the "electric slide" and nothing more. And you told you-tube to remove it. Over what? A "Patent" on movement? Lock your precious move down so tight that only YOU can those you choose can perform it. And in 30 years, it'll be totally forgotten.

If you were an artist you wouldn't care. you're just a greedy little man who has one claim to fame and is trying desperately to say how important you are because of that. I have to deal with morons like you on a daily basis in my real job, people that get off on power trips on their "one trick pony". And frankly, people like you make me want to bring a gun to work. The fact that you DUG UP a month old thread to come in and reply to EVERYONE shows me that you aren't an artist, you're an egomaniac. This isn't about intellectual property, it's about stroking your own ego.

Go crawl back into your little hole with your precious move. In 50 years nobody will remember you or your move, and we'll all do it wrong just to spite you.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
sockscatt: And one more thing homeslice....

From your own "youtube" page in which you show people how to perform the move, AND the source of my information about your dancing ability these days :

"The creator teaches the original 22 steps and some variations of the basic pattern" 1:54 PM CST, 3-4-07

Nothing about knee surgery there.

Interesting to note that you claim to have single-handedly invented breakdancing, pop and lock, the robot... All over a decade before they were really done. Nice thing about history, anyone with enough force of law can make it be whatever they want it to be.

If you were really a dancer and not a businessman you'd be happy that people are still performing "your move" 30 years after it was popular. But it's not enough, it it? It's not enough that your "move" evolved without your input, and now you're throwing a childish hissy fit that "they're not doing it MY WAY!!!"

Let it go, and be happy that people still do it. Or don't, hold onto it so tight that you squeeze the life out of your own "dance move", and in 50 years it won't even be a footnote on wikipedia. Your choice homeslice.

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 08:08 am (UTC)

[...]after viewing your site I have found that it – as most of the sites I have visited – have an incorrect version of my choreography. In as much as I have not given permission for anyone to print or film this choreography – your site will be listed as a co-defendant in the above-mentioned suit.

You may correct your site to reflect the correct choreography which I have posted at the end of this letter

You can remove this illegal and incorrect version of "The Electric Slide" from your site.

So he's okay with people mentioning his dance as long as they GET IT RIGHT!!! if I'm parsing that infringement letter? Weird.

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 08:30 am (UTC)

So if it's not the "correct" electric slide, then it's something else. Let's just call it the Magnetic Slip, and be done with it.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)

No - the 16 , 18 , and 24 step Variations are still my choreography with added or deleted steps

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)

Yes - you have it right

Tue, Jan. 30th, 2007 08:24 am (UTC)

That Ric guy has a big fat ass! *scared*

What if he tracks you down and sits on you?

Wed, Jan. 31st, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)

I just edited my post linking to your footage over on furcon. What a pain! I cant believe that the word "electric slide" is copywritten. The dance itself, yes. Someone inventing a dance and then wanting to protect others from selling how-to vids without his consent and compensation makes sense but this right here is capitalism at its worst!

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)

The words Electric Slide have been copyright protected - but not by me

Mon, Mar. 12th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)

Well that seems debatable to copyright the words and how that copyright would apply to people (does that mean they cant write anything with "electric slide' in the description? If so, thats kind of silly in my book).

Either way, what is this guy's problem? The electric slide is a dance that is done at weddings, dances, concerts, and furry/scifi/fantasy conventions. Until someone tries to sell a video of how to do the electric slide without Mr Silver's permission, I consider this to be a frivolus accusation for all videos of this dance to be removed from YouTube and other video repositories.

Incidentally, it appears that this has reached a court level with Mr. Silver being the defendant. I wonder if that is why his site doesnt have the animated gif with Spiderman performing the slide on it anymore? That would really make Silver out to be a hypocrite.


Wed, Jan. 31st, 2007 11:03 am (UTC)

Am I the only one to notice that on his "Notarized" letter saying he injured himself dancing the Bus Stop^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Electric Slide, that the Notary's credentials expired in either 1971 or 1974?

(Since when do Notaries pen in a correction, with only three easily forged intials?)

Wed, Jan. 31st, 2007 11:34 am (UTC)

Continued poking:

According to this, dance steps can be copyrighted. However, they have to be laid down in a tangible medium to be so. I think it's noticable that he doesn't have a dated copy of the dance steps other than modern ones. Unless he can produce a tangible copy of the steps from before everyone and their dog were distributing written directions thereof, he may not really have an enforceable copyright.

I don't know how this would work with there being multiple variants that are apparently confused for each other. If one of the ones he doesn't endorse was the first one published, I'd think his claim to be greatly diminished. Especially when his 'Notarized Letter' doesn't spell out what the dance actually is. The 'Electric Slide' dance refered to it may have been a seventy-three step abomination involving juggling of Chihuahuas and cattle prods.

Wed, Jan. 31st, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)

The 'Electric Slide' dance refered to it may have been a seventy-three step abomination involving juggling of Chihuahuas and cattle prods.

Now that sounds fun.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 02:10 pm (UTC)

check my website - the original publication dated June 1976 is listed -
Look for the purple picture

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)

I don't see what you're talking about. Original publication of what?

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC)

The Notary did not pen it in - the author of the letter did

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)

Doesn't change that the Notary's credentials expired, and that a notarized letter isn't proof that the contents of the letter are accurate. There's nothing to keep you from modifying the letter later on, or even crafting an entirely new letter some years later. (Which would jive with the expired credentials.)

If you would like, I can provide you with a notarized letter saying that I kidnapped the Lindburg baby, assasinated Hitler, and invented the Eletric Slide (Though it was mis-interpeted by humanity as the Ten Commandments. I didn't speak Hebrew very well, and alot got changed in the translation.)

Mon, Mar. 12th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
varro: As a notary...

...all I can certify is the identity of the signer and the date. Nothing else.

moriar is correct - notaries do not certify the truth of the contents of an affidavit.

Sun, Apr. 13th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
nycsdancer: Re: As a notary...

So contact the person who wrote the letter - her address and phone number are listed and she was there - as well as Charlie Adler - the well know voiceover artist and director

Sun, Apr. 13th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
nycsdancer: Notary's Expiration

on the original - it states that his term expires in 1977

Wed, Jan. 31st, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)

Any video that shows my choreography being done incorrectly is being removed - I don't want future generations having to learn it wrong and then relearn it

I have a freakin' better idea...let's preserve his copyright in the ultimate way by never teaching anyone the Electric Slide ever again.

Think on it...a beautiful world...with no one embarrassing themselves at weddings or sweet 16 parties...

That said, I certainly hope Mr. Ric "douchebag" Silver wrote Marvel for permission to use the image of Spiderman he's got gyrating on his page...

Wed, Jan. 31st, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)

It says he lives in Groton CT.

I used to live there.

What a douchebag...glad I never met him. I wonder if he raids parties and weddings and gets people in trouble for doing the electric slide.

MATTER OF FACT, I feel like doing it RIGHT NOW.

Wed, Jan. 31st, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC)

If the dance is done "incorrectly" isn't it another dance entirely, and therefore NOT what he copyrighted, even if he COULD copyright a dance?

Thu, Feb. 1st, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)

If a dance could be copyrighted (I don't know for sure if a single dance step counts as a choreography or not), then flawed imitations would be considered "Derivative Works".

Just like if you published a book called Magical Mystery People Do Things Entertainingly, which was only Harry Potter with the name changed to Migel Sanchez.

A parody of Harry Potter books would be fair use, but simple modification of the previous work would create a new copyrighted work which is considered a "Derivative Work" and requires permission of both that copyright holder and the permission of the holder of the Parent Work's copyright to distribute.

A Webster's Dictionary that lists fourty bajillion copyright dates does so because the copy you're holding is a Derivitive Work of fourty bajillion copyrighted works, and each of the copyrights is being asserted in the front cover.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)

NO - choreography is a sequence of steps
leaving out a step does not constitute a change - only mis-teaching

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)

Yes, leaving out a step is a change. Dances can be modified. Magical Mystery People Do Things Entertainingly, as previously mentioned, wouldn't simply be a typographically incorrect copy of Harry Potter, it would be a derivative work.

Thu, Feb. 1st, 2007 01:46 am (UTC)

I find this even more depressing than the furries.


Sun, Feb. 4th, 2007 02:24 am (UTC)

Holy crap! That's ridiculous. I found your LJ post via this blog and said, "hey, that name sounds familiar". It's scary that I just popped quickly onto Slashdot during lunch, and then spent most of day reading legal threats and filings, which constituted about 50% of all the news. What is wrong with this country? (And if you haven't seen it, right here in Boston a couple days ago, two guys from a marketing firm are expected to get FIVE YEARS in jail for sticking light-up cartoon characters up around Boston; some idiots saw LEDs and batteries, and the whole city was shut down with a bomb scare.)

Just for fun, now I want to shoot a quick junk video (how about the 'Electric Sliderule', my ti-85 crudely emulating the dance steps to music!) onto Youtube with descriptive keywords to see how long until it gets DMCA'd.

Sun, Feb. 4th, 2007 05:59 am (UTC)

Small world, ain't it? :)

Yeah. This is gonna get insane, though at least it's on lesser stakes than the Boston scare. I'm worried for those guys.

Mon, Feb. 5th, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC)
morgancain: Actually, what the Copyright Act says........ that you can protect the physical representation as your own. So all Ric Silver is protecting is the videotape, and unless you post parts of that on YouTube and elsewhere (cf. the Viacom issue) you should be in the clear. Anything you're told about the Berne Convention, fair use (there have been cases where copying texts for use in classrooms has been found NOT fair use), and so on is just obfustication of the real issue - check out Section 102 of the Copyright Act for the straight dope.

(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

Sockscatt had it right. Protecting the video doesn't prevent people from dancing. Now, if he owned the copyright on the song, and could prevent people from paying it (cf. the "Happy Birthday" furor a few years back), that would be another story.

Fri, May. 25th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
nycsdancer: Re: Actually, what the Copyright Act says........

Actually they Don't -
The original copyright was in 1976 and a printed copy is posted on both my websites. The copyright office requested the video which they then stated that they could not register the choreography from the video but would register the video and me speaking the words of the basic 22 count step. I would have to go in front of a judge to get a ruling as to whether this constituted coverage of the copyright. So I submitted another application with the printed text and have been waiting over a year and 4 months for their registration paperwork. There seems to be some legal hassel over the fact t hat it was created in 1976 and the law - tho written in 76 did not take effect until 78 So there was a question as to which laws my copyright whould fall under - so I hired a legal firm who discovered that since I only printed 50 copies of the handout - it is considered a limited publication and because I didn't actually publish the dance until 1994 when I posted it to Tripod.... it does fall under the new 1976 laws. Somy copyright is intact and I am receiving another 1994 copyright and a registration dated 2006.

Sun, Mar. 4th, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC)

I notice that you list the specs for the Official Electric Slide page - but not the specs for the original 1998 publication site


Mon, Mar. 5th, 2007 06:14 am (UTC)

The information for that domain is substantially similar...otherwise I'd have guessed it was to save the tech. contact the shame of being associated with it. (Seriously, that shit belongs on geocities.)

"Additional plugins are required to display all the media on this page" - 3pts.
3d rotating "email me" animation - 5pts.
(link to) Pictures of pets - 2pts.
One, two, three, FOUR embedded search bars! - 1pt. each
Three of which are for obscure engines I've never heard of - 2pts.
3d rotating animation of the guy's name - 6pts.
3d rotating things that indicate nothing in particular - 3pts.
Hit counter (3rd-party hosted at that) - 1pt.
Another web counter that simply displays the text "web counter" - 4pts.
2nd (different) 3d rotating animation of the guy's name - 6pts.
Broken graphics - 3pts.

Sorry, Geocities is too good for this site. Off to Angelfire!