News has surfaced regarding the lawsuits against Epic Games’ Fortnite dance emotes. With lawsuits coming from Backpack kid, 2 Milly, Alfonso Ribeiro, and BlocBoy JB, Epic Games’ legal team took it upon themselves to swiftly denounce any owing of royalties, and that they did not take part in any wrongdoing – claiming that the plaintiffs’ lawsuits are, “fundamentally at odds with free speech” and that they “chill creative expression, by claiming rights that do not exist under the law.”
In a letter to to the California federal court, Epic’s attorney, Dale Cendali, wrote, “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.” Cendali even went on to explain that the dance, in this case “Swipe It,” is not consistent with 2 Milly‘s dance moves — as seen in the “varying arm movements,” the “wind up,” and “rolling motion” of the hands between swipes.
Time will tell if each of the respective creators will receive compensation for their dance move contributions in the game. What do you think? Can someone actually own a dance step?
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- Hollywood Reporter