Moya David, a popular TikTok dancer in Africa, faced backlash after announcing his intention to patent his dance moves. He claimed that he wanted to deter copycats from stealing his style. However, the statement did not sit well with a majority of his fans and people in general. As a result, Moya had to clarify what he meant by ‘patenting his style’.
During an interview with YouTuber Mungai Eve, Moya explained that he was only trying to protect his work by owning the rights to his creation. He added that he was not preventing people from dancing. According to Moya, he wanted to have a certificate to prove that he created the choreography in case a non-fungible token (NFT) decides to buy the dance.
Moya was shocked when he saw comments claiming that a dance move can’t be copyrighted. He noted that it is possible to copyright one’s own dance moves. In Africa, Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli obtained a patent for the viral phrase “alaa, alaa, alaa”. The Kenya Intellectual Property Institute indicated that Atwoli has the exclusive right to the phrase until 2031.
Moya’s clarification may help to ease the public’s concerns regarding his earlier statement. By owning the rights to his creation, he can protect his work and avoid others from stealing his style.