Fortnite jumps in another lawsuit

A YouTuber and choreographer is the latest content creator to sue Epic Games over Fortniteuse a jump. This time, Kyle Hanagami said he has copyrighted the dance in question, which he says was copied by the “It’s complicated” emoji introduced in August 2020.

Hanagami in 2017 choreographed a dance to Charlie Puth’s “How Long”, published it in a video, and has since amassed 35.7 million views. Hanagami’s complaint, filed in federal court Tuesday for the Central District of California, alleges that Epic stole the “hook” in his dance and used it at the top of the emoji “It Complicated” without Hanagami’s consent.

The suit is hardly the first to go against Epic because it uses dances in Fortnite, but this is the first time in four years of relative silence. Following a series of lawsuits filed in 2018, a Supreme Court decision led law firm Pierce Brainridge to withdraw some of the cases it represented. But one big difference between those cases and Hanagami’s claim is that Hanagami actually has the copyright to the dance in question.

To illustrate this point, Hanagami’s lawyers created a side-by-side video showing the dance moves they say Fortnite copied. The moves are not only identical, FortniteThe unofficial wiki on Fandom.com states that the dance is partly based on Hanagami’s choreography. That said, the emoji continues with dance moves that are not the same as or developed by Hanagami. The emoji also doesn’t include the song that Hanagami originally choreographed for.

Copyrighting dance moves is just one part of the legal battle. Dance copyright is notoriously complex, leaving plenty of room for creative expression while remaining fair game. Legal and artistic concepts such as creative use and choreography also play important roles. In general, an infringing dance work should have most of the original work reproduced, rather than just a few movements or sections of the work.

Hanagami’s lawsuit asks for a restraining order Fortnite from using the “It’s complicated” jump, unspecified statutory damages and damages, as well as legal fees.

https://www.polygon.com/23002010/fortnite-dance-lawsuit-emote-kyle-hanagami-its-complicated Fortnite jumps in another lawsuit

Charles Jones

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