Epic Games has responded to rapper 2 Milly’s lawsuit arguing about the ‘Swipe It’ dance emote used in the game. The Gaming company has now urged to lawsuit to be dismissed, with the defense argument that the dance is not using the same moves.
Terrence “2 Milly” Ferguson was the first among other to sue Fortnite over dance emotes that are sold by the company, and used by players in the game. Ferguson claimed in the lawsuit that the dance was copied without his permission. The dance which Ferguson claims to have created is what he calls ‘Milly Rock’, which Fortnite added with its own name ‘Swipe It’.
Epic Games’ response to the lawsuit has asked the case to be dismissed without agreeing to any terms set by the Ferguson. Dale Cendali who is representing as the Lawyer for Epic Games said,
[2 Milly’s] lawsuit is fundamentally at odds with free speech principles as it attempts to impose liability, and thereby chill creative expression, by claiming rights that do not exist under the law.
Epic Games has even gone further in explaining about the dance and how it is not completely the same,
[Milly Rock] consists of a side step to the right while swinging the left arm horizontally across the chest to the right, and then reversing the same movement on the other side,” Ms Cendali writes.
“By contrast … Swipe It consists of (1) varying arm movements, sometimes using a straight, horizontal arc across the chest, and other times starting below the hips and then travelling in a diagonal arc across the body, up to the shoulder, while pivoting side to side on the balls and heels of the feet, (2) a wind up of the right arm before swiping, and (3) a rolling motion of the hands and forearms between swipes.
Copyright law is clear that individual dance steps and simple dance routines are not protected by copyright, but rather are building blocks of free expression, which are in the public domain for choreographers, dancers, and the general public to use, perform, and enjoy.
The rapper is not the only one with the lawsuits over dance emotes, as the Backpack Kid Russell Horning and Alfonso Ribeiro are also claiming copyright over other dance emotes in the game.
Whether or not the case will be dismissed is to be found out, but according to the guidance issued by the US copyright authorities, any individual movement(s) or dance steps, or routines consisting of only a few movement or steps, cannot be claimed.
Do you think the people filing for lawsuit against Epic Games is fair? Or is Epic Games in the wrong here? Post your opinions in the comments below.