Some Fortnite Dance Lawsuits Are on the Backburner
Multiple lawsuits against Epic Games for dances allegedly used in Fortnite without permission have been dropped. Some of the parties that have dropped their lawsuits include Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro, Instagram celebrity Backpack Kid, rapper 2 Milly, and the fan-favorite Fortnite dancer Orange Shirt Kid.
All of the individuals filed their lawsuits because they claim that dances associated with their characters, such as Backpack Kid’s flossing and Ribeiro’s Carlton dance, were used in Fortnite without their permission. In addition, they claim that Epic Games is profiting off of their dances.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, an unrelated case in the United States Supreme Court made the decision that a copyright’s registration process needs to be completed before any civil action can be taken for copyright infringement. It seems that this is why the individuals dropped their lawsuits for the time being.
Epic Games previously responded to the lawsuits with the following statement:
“Plaintiff’s lawsuit is fundamentally at odds with free speech principles as it attempts to impose liability, ad thereby chill creative expression, by claiming rights that do not exist under the law,” said Epic Games’ attorney Dale Cendali. “No one can own a dance step. Copyright law is clear that individual dance steps and simple dance routines are not protected by copyright, but rather are building blocks of free expression, which are in the public domain for choreographers, dancers, and the general public to use, perform, and enjoy.”