Dance Creators Drop Lawsuit Against Fortnite for Copyright Infringement

Dance Creators Drop Lawsuit Against Fortnite for Copyright Infringement

It's complicated.

LizardRock by LizardRock on Mar 11, 2019 @ 10:12 AM (Staff Bios)
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There's been yet another development on the ongoing battle between Epic Games and the creators of the dances being used in Fortnite. Just about everyone involved has now dropped their lawsuits against the game company.

It started with rapper 2 Milly, who had pressed legal action against the company for copying his dance, the Milly Rock. Not long after, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro, Instagram personality Backpack Kid, and viral video star Orange Shirt Kid all joined in the lawsuit for the same reason. The case was that Epic was profiting from the existence of these dance moves in their game, both without permission or compensation in regards to the dances' creators.

The lawsuit took a bump recently when the Supreme court denied copyright ownership of "The Carlton" to Ribeiro, claiming that it was nothing more than a "simple dance routine" that doesn't qualify for copyright.

In an unrelated case, the United States Supreme Court also ruled that for a civil action to be taken for copyright infringement, the copyright must have had its registration process completed. With Ribeiro the only one to register (and be denied), none of the suing parties could qualify for legal action. This prompted the parties to drop their claims, at least temporarily.

It's worth noting that the Supreme Court's ruling didn't specify the copyright must be granted - just that the registration must be completed (according to IP lawyer Ethan Jacobs). So, in theory, a rejected registration would technically allow them to sue, in theory.

This is a dark turn for the people who made those dances; our sympathies go out to them.

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