Following the lawsuit by Alfonso Ribeiro against Fortnite and Epic Games over the use of his “Carlton Dance,” the Backpack Kid who made popular the Floss Dance is now suing Fortnite and Epic Games as well. As you can expect, social media lit up like a Christmas tree over the news.
People on Twitter reacted to the string of lawsuits in quite imaginative ways with some mocking the law suits:
I’ll sue Epic games for using piñatas, in name of all my mexican people
— UwUn’t (@ChavaRP_) December 18, 2018
Teletubbies will sue next. ✌️😭 pic.twitter.com/8wg2HxHfnE
— Philip Rodriguez (@pinoyakohahaha) December 18, 2018
Yes lets all celebrate by default dancing
— Sekiro17 (@nokuto16) December 18, 2018
As we reported earlier, Alfonso Ribeiro and the Backpack Kid aren’t the only ones suing Fortnite. Fortnite first found itself in hot water when rapper Terrence Ferguson who goes by 2 Milly for the use of his Milly Rock dance at the beginning of December. Legally speaking who owns what dance is still new territory since copyright hadn’t seemed to be invoked before the lawsuit.
But social media wasn’t done yet. Reactions were mixed, to say the least on the news that the Backpack Kid now decided to sue the game company. Many users were flabbergasted by how fast the company has found itself in the middle of multiple lawsuits in a short time.
I come back to twitter to find out all my moots hate me bc I’m a het and fortnite is being sued by everyone pic.twitter.com/bjYutt911y
— #RKive// Joonie Is A Cinnamon Roll 땡🐐💕🐐💕🐐💕 (@HONEY_JAMZ) December 18, 2018
Fortnite getting sued by everybody today 😂
— Tre 🤪 (@tregoins35) December 18, 2018
— Thaxl of Kepesk🐉❄️ (@rebelxsi06) December 18, 2018
Lol #fortnite is gettin sued left and right. Price of being so popular.
— . (@c0queta143) December 18, 2018
But not everyone was behind Epic Games or confused by the lawsuits. Some believed it was wrong for Epic Games to not approach the creators before giving the go-ahead to place dances associated with them into the game.
— xKELSOx (@xKELSOxLIVE) December 18, 2018
why won’t fortnite just ask people who make up these dances if they can use them cause they’re being sued and called out left n right like either make ur own or ask permission SKSKSK
— nicole (@lethalnicole) December 18, 2018
Though reactions are mixed, it is easy to see that Epic Games is going to have a rough few weeks over these dances.
Copyrighting a dance move might be difficult if that’s the route some of those who are suing Epic Games are looking to do. According to the Copyright Registration of Choreography and Pantomime, “individual movements or dance steps by themselves are not copyrightable, such as the basic waltz step, the hustle step, the grapvine, or the second position in classical ballet. The U.S. Copyright Office cannot register short dance routines consisting of only a few movements or steps with minor linear or spatial variations, even if a routine is novel or distinctive.”
It’s also possible for Fortnite to seek protection by invoking First Amendment protections under fair use which protects parody.
What do you think? Was Epic Games in the wrong for not seeking permission to use these dances in their game? Or are those who are suing the game company full of sour grapes?
Let me know in the comments below!