Epic's lawyer explains why the dance lawsuits against Fortnite don't have any merit

There are a number of people who are suing Epic over dances included in Fortnite. We've heard why those people believe they are owed money for dances they claim to have created, or popularized. Epic has remained quiet for the most part with all this, but just today, Epic Games' attorney Dale Cendali has shared a statement. In particular, Mr. Cendali is responding to a lawsuit from rapper 2 Milly. 2 Milly claims Epic used his 'Swipe It' dance in-game without credit/compensation.

"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. 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.
Also, copyright does not protect mere ideas and concepts, which are free for all to use, but rather only the expression of those ideas. The Dance Step is just such an unprotectable idea as Ninth Circuit courts have held in similar situations involving movements, choreography, and poses. As the Dance Step is not protectable, there is nothing to compare to Fortnite, and the works necessarily are not substantially similar."

It appears this is the stance Epic is going to take with all the emote-related lawsuits they're being hit with. Whether the judge sides with Epic remains to be seen.

Categories: Consoles
Tags: eshop, switch
Games: Fortnite


He’s not wrong. It’s shitty they took the dances without even crediting the original creators but it’s not illegal and the lawsuits have will have no leg to stand or dance on.

Tue Feb 12 19 02:39pm
Rating: 1

Sounds right.

I don’t like the idea of someone being able to own specific body movements. Doesn’t make Epic not a bag of dicks in the whole situation though.

He's not wrong. Whereas dance "pieces/works/etc." (eg. The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, etc.) can and should be protected by copyright...simple steps like these emotes should not.

Imagine all your favorite "school dance" dances under copyright. The cha cha slide, crank dat soulja boy, etc.

Should they credit the dance creators? Maybe.
Do they need to? No.
Can you own a dance move? No.

Epic's in the right here, even if they should have handled this better. They really didn't need to, tho. And they probably didn't expect people to SUE over dance moves.

Tue Feb 12 19 05:21pm
Rating: 1

No one can own a dance move, but we can sure as hell profit off them. How about Epic come up with an original dance move then?

Charging money for something that is free expression is a bit of a hard pill to swallow, yeah?

By this logic, every emote anywhere ever should be free, which is a bit of a weird prospect

Well I've never paid for an emote, cause I've played many games where there's a crap-ton free to use. So that's not really all that weird lol

Of course, conversely, it's not weird to have free emotes. I believe every game I played also had that. But plenty of games do charge money for it, and I don't see much wrong with that


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