Fortnite Is Reportedly Getting Sued
Hey, “Fortnite” fans. We’ve got some pretty serious an interesting news for you guys today. It turns out that Epic Games, who are the creators behind the popular “Fortnite” video game you’ve all grown to love, have just gotten slammed with a lawsuit! That’s right, guys. Fortnite is headed to court.
According to the folks over at Polygon.com , a rapper that goes by the name 2 Milly (real name: Terrence Ferguson) is trying to sue the company for selling in-game emotes of his dance moves called,”Milly Rock” without his permission. So, Epic Games is being slammed with a copyright infringement lawsuit.
The details of 2 Milly’s lawsuit claim that the “Swipe It” emote that was featured in Fortnite’s Season 5 Battle Pass is identical to his “Milly Rock” dance, and Epic Games sold it without his consent or credit.
The lawsuit was filed back on December 5, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The lawsuit states that 2 Milly is seeking “injunctive relief and damages including but not limited to Epic’s profits attributed to its improper use of the Milly Rock and Ferguson’s likeness.”
The lawsuit went on to claim that Epic Games is starting a pattern of “exploiting African-American talent in particular in Fortnite by copying their dances and movements.” The lawsuit named off a couple of other dances they think Epic has ripped off. They are: the Tidy emote, similar to Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” dance. The Fresh emote which is similar to Alfonso Ribeiro’s famous Carlton dance from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The Best Mates emote which looks a lot like the move from Marlon Webb’s Band of the Bold video series.
The lawsuit mentions that 2 Milly aka Terrence Ferguson officially applied for copyright protection of the Milly Rock dance with the U.S. Copyright Office on Dec. 4, 2018, which is conveniently just one day before the complaint against Epic Games was filed.
Hmmm, I’m not a lawyer or anything, but it seems to me if the copyright protection wasn’t in place when Epic Games allegedly sold 2 Milly’s dance moves on their Fortnite video game, it’s going to be quite difficult to win this case. I don’t know. We’ll see.
2 Milly’s lawsuit went on to state: “Epic uses the Milly Rock and other dances to create the false impression that Epic started these dances and crazes or that the artist who created them is endorsing the game. Indeed, players have posted thousands of videos of themselves performing the ‘Swipe It’ emote with the hashtag, #fortnitedance, without referencing the Milly Rock or crediting Ferguson as the dance’s creator and owner.
Epic misappropriated Ferguson’s identity” under California law by “digitally copying” his performance without permission. Through the use of “Swipe It” in Fortnite, Milly has been “prevented from reaping the profits of licensing his likeness to Defendants for commercial gain.”
2 Milly commented about Fortnite’s use of his dance moves on CBS News back in November 2018 saying, “I don’t even want to bash them for all the millions. Know what I am saying? It’s not really like that. I just feel like I have to protect what’s mine.”
According to the folks over at arstechnica.com , this isn’t the only lawsuit that’s in place for Epic Games. The lawyers at Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP said: “Our client Lenwood ‘Skip’ Hamilton is pursuing similar claims against Epic for use of his likeness in the popular ‘Cole Train’ character in the Gears of Wars [sic] video game franchise. Epic cannot be allowed to continue to take what does not belong to it.”
Chance The Rapper is also reportedly complaining about Fortnite’s dances. He posted a tweet saying, “Fortnite should put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as Emotes. Black creatives created and popularized these dances but never monetized them. Imagine the money people are spending on these Emotes being shared with the artists that made them.”
Former NBC “Scrubs” actor Donald Faison recently commented about how Fortnite ripped of a dance he made popular on the show. He said, “If you wanna see it, you can play Fortnite, because they jacked that shit… I don’t get no money. That’s what y’all are thinking, right? Somebody got paid? No. No. I did not. Somebody stole that shit, and it’s not mine any more.”
Currently, it’s still very questionable if dance moves can even be copyright protected. Other classic dance movements such as the: basic waltz step, the hustle step, the grapevine, or the second position in classical ballet cannot be copyright protected.
The Arstechnica.com article pointed out that hip hop choreographer Omar Awua also had some complaints and advice for Epic Games. He said, “Game companies have to be more respectful to people in the dance scene. They need to do more research as it could be seen as a form of stealing. People are more upset because Fortnite have turned over a lot of money.”
How do you guys feel about Fortnite getting sued for selling the “Swipe It” in-game emote which allegedly stole 2 Milly’s “Milly Rock” dance moves? Let us know in the Facebook comments. Be sure to follow us on our Fortnite Video Game News Facebook page for more Fortnite Video Game news, tips and more by Clicking Here.