Fortnite dance could be BANNED after game maker accused of stealing it
A world-renowned choreographer is suing the Fortnite creator for allegedly pinching his dance moves.
According to BNC NewsKyle Hanagami, 35, has accused US gaming giant Epic Games of lifting his job to use him as a Fortnite emote.
Emotes are dance moves or other actions that characters can perform in-game. Players can purchase them from Epic’s online store for up to $10.
Hanagami, who has worked with megastars such as Britney Spears and Justin Bieber, accuses Epic of ripping off his copyrighted routine for the “It’s Complicated” emote.
He claims the article uses moves he performed during a 2017 routine to accompany Charlie Puth’s pop song “How Long.”
The lawsuit, which was filed last week, says Epic “did not credit Hanagami or seek her consent to use, display, reproduce, sell, or create a derivative work based on the recorded choreography.”
She alleges that the company unfairly took advantage of the choreographer’s work by selling his work on its store.
The suit asks that the emote be removed from Fortnite and seeks compensatory damages.
Hanagami’s attorney, David Hecht, posted a side-by-side comparison of Hanagami’s original video and “It’s Complicated” dance moves on YouTube.
This shows that the choreography between the two is almost identical.
“Their offense couldn’t be more egregious,” Hecht said.
Epic did not respond to a request for comment.
This isn’t the first time Epic has faced litigation for pinching the dance moves featured in its billion-dollar game.
In 2018, dancer and influencer Russell Horning, also known as The Backpack Kid, sued Epic for using the Floss dance in an emote.
‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ actor Alfonso Ribeiro sued the publisher over an emote that resembled the show’s famous Carlton dance.
The company was also sued that year by rapper 2 Milly for allegedly impersonating his Milly Rock movement.
All three cases were later dropped after Epic successfully argued that none of the plaintiffs owned the copyright to the dances.
Hanagmi’s case is different, however, as he claims to own the official copyright before suing Epic for infringement.
The company began crediting creators last year and is paying them directly to use their viral dance moves following backlash from the community.
However, some choreographers, like Hanagami, continued to accuse Fortnite of taking their work without permission or proper compensation.
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