by 👩💻 Stephanie Boyd
Fortnite has grown to become nothing short of a cultural phenomenon in 2018, with the battle royale videogame having swallowed up the lives of millions of different players from all over the world. The huge online game has grown to be so popular not only thanks to its simple, irreverent approach to all-out deathmatch gaming, but also thanks to its curious collection of dance moves, which can be used by players in-game as emotes. However, the game has come under legal fire in recent days thanks to its funky moves – and a number of public figures aren’t happy at all.
Epic Games is currently being sued by at least three different creators with regard to their dances being used in Fortnite without their express consent, according to Lifehacker. The dance moves can be directly purchased by players in-game, meaning that there is concern over Epic Games profiting from dance moves which haven’t been put through a copyright filter.
Those suing the brand include rapper 2 Milly, who claims that a dance depicted in Fortnite as ‘Swipe It’ was lifted directly from his music video Milly Rock – without the musician having been approached first. Secondly, actor Alfonso Ribeiro, famous for playing Carlton Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and being a former champion of Dancing With The Stars, is also filing against Epic Games. His famous ‘Carlton dance’ is alleged to be depicted in-game as ‘Fresh’.
Meanwhile, perhaps the most iconic dance from the game – ‘The Floss’ – is being contested by ‘Backpack Kid’ Russell Horning, or, at least his mother – who is filing a lawsuit on his behalf as a result of his status as a minor. All the lawsuits request that offending emotes and dances be removed – which may also result in Epic Games having to pay out damages.
Fortnite Facing Multiple Lawsuits For Allegedly Stealing Dance Moves [video]
Fortnite’s apparent use of familiar dance moves has now culminated in at least three claims over copyright infringement. Concerns over similarity between said moves and those already copyrighted have been raised on social media over the past few months – however, it now seems things are coming to a legal head. Where will it all end?
Epic, at this time, have failed to comment publicly on such matters while suits are continuing. It remains to be seen what, if any, defense the studio will put forth in light of the claims, but it appears to be a very high profile downturn for what has otherwise been an incredibly profitable year for the once-fledgling games brand.