‘Fortnite’ Hit With Lawsuits

December 20, 2018

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

The game that’s taking the gaming world by storm may soon find itself in serious legal trouble. Epic Games’ hit “Fortnite” is popular with children, gamers, and youtubers/streamers looking for a quick buck by piggybacking on the game’s success to the point of sacrificing “content” on their channels by having nothing but all videos of themselves playing the game.
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The game is also popular because it’s free to download but revenue is generated through what’s known in gaming as “Microtransactions”, that’s buying in-game items with real-world cash. Players of “Fortnite” buy skins for their characters and other cosmetic items. One thing players cherish most and will spend a lot of money on are the “emotes” most particularly dance moves players can make their characters do.
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They say imitation is a form of flattery but three stars don’t agree. Russell Horning became a viral star with his famous dance move known as “floss’n”, one of the most popular dance moves in the game. Horning’s family has filed a lawsuit saying Epic Games did not get permission to use the dance for “Fortnite”. Horning is not alone, rapper 2-Milly has filed suit claiming the game is using his “Milly Rock” dance move without his permission.
The latest to enter the legal fray is TV personality Alfonso Ribeiro, best known for his character Carlton Banks from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” who is famous not just for being the lead character’s uptight valley-boy cousin but because of his dance move known as “The Carlton” in which Ribeiro dances to Tom Jones’ 1965 hit “It’s Not Unusual”.
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Some coming to the defense of the game say that a game like “World of Warcraft” has emotes of well know dances as well, so it’s no big deal right? Well… this is where it gets tricky. True, well-known dance moves are being used the fact is, they were either FREE or were already included in the animation of the game at the time of purchase, unlike “Fortnite” where you have to BUY the dance moves.
With growing attention on this lawsuit has raised concerns that others whose dance moves or actions are available for purchase in the game may join in eventually like Elaine’s “happy dance” from “Seinfeld”, Vine star Marlon Webb’s famous jog to the tune of A-ha’s “Take on Me”. Youtube dancer Gabby David and “Scrubs” star Donald Faison have publically called out Epic Games for taking their dance moves without their permission. Don’t be surprised if you see their names next on the list of complainants.

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