"Savage," "Up" TikTok Dance Creators May Soon Own Copyrights to Their Work

·2 min read

Keara Wilson, the creator of a viral TikTok dance for Megan Thee Stallion's single “Savage,” has taken the first step to secure a long-awaited copyright for her work, Variety reported. The news comes as Black creators continue to struggle with creating original online content that is then taken by white creators who profit from it, often without credit. In July, some Black creators pulled off a strike, refusing to create dances for Megan's “Thot Shit.”

In case you somehow missed it on your FYP, Keara created a dance for “Savage”that became a global sensation. Despite its increasing popularity, Keara was often left out of conversations and proper credit surrounding where the dance originated. Now, she and a handful of other creators are on the path to owning their work in the legal sense, thanks to the work of dancer and choreographer, JaQuel Knight.

As pointed out by Afrotech and Variety, JaQuel and his The JaQuel Knight Foundation partnered with Logitech to help multiple #Creators4BIPOC. Through the partnership, both the foundation and Logitech intend to help creators of color get the copyrights for their work. 

A press release announced that Keara, along with six others, were among those initially helped by the collaboration — they were presented with labanotations of their choreo, which Variety noted is “the first step in helping the creators secure copyright to their choreography.” Other recipients include Mya Johnson and Chris Cotter, the creators of a dance to Cardi B's “Up"; the Nae Nae Twins, creators of a “Savage Remix” dance; and Young Deji, the creator of “The Woah” dance. A full list of creators aided by the initiative can be viewed here.

According to a press release, Knight and Logitech plan to help more creators secure copyrights in the future. “Copyrighting movement is about putting the power back in the artist’s hands," Knight told Variety. During a speech at the ceremony, Knight added, “How much longer do we allow for the art of choreography and the art of dance to be taken advantage of?”

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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue