Fortnite is facing lawsuits over emote dances

Unfortunately for Fortnite, the people behind the dances are not happy being just an 'inspiration.'

    2018/12/19

NSFW    US — Looks like Epic Games needs to lawyer up.

Fortnite, the biggest video game in the world, is getting a lot of attention from Hollywood lately, only it's not the good kind.

Epic's free-to-play battle royale game recently hit over 200 million users, five times the number of players it had last year.

Fortnite makes bank through microtransactions, the most popular ones being dance 'emotes' that make a player's characters unique.

Fortnite dances are popular for taking inspiration from real life sources like the dab, the hype dance, salt bae and the infamous 'Carlton Dance' from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Unfortunately for Fortnite, the people behind the dances are not happy being just an 'inspiration.'

The floodgates opened when rapper 2 Milly filed a lawsuit against Fortnite claiming that Epic Games had 'unfairly profited from exploiting the rapper's protected creative expression and likeness.'

Soon after, actor Alfonso Ribeiro, also known as the man Behind the Carlton dance form the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, also filed a lawsuit claiming he is currently in the process of copyrighting the dance.

The latest person to sue Epic Games is Rusell Horning, better known as the 'Backpack Kid' from Katy Perry's 2017 SNL performance, and the teen behind the viral 'Floss' dance. He is accusing both Fortnite and 2K Sports of theft.

According to TechCrunch, Gabby David, the online creator and dancer behind another dance 'emote' called 'Electro Shuffle, claims she got a settlement for her choreography feature in the game.

However, copyrighting these dances might be complicated.

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, you 'cannot register short dance routines consisting of only a few movements or steps with minor linear or spatial variations, even if a routine is novel or distinctive.'

Actor Donald Faison from Scrubs, whose dance is also featured in the game, hasn't sued but has expressed discontent on his Twitter account and at public events, telling the crowd at a Scrubs reunion that if they wanted to see his famous dance 'they could go play Fortnite.'
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