Ever since Fortnite became a cultural phenomenon, many gamers have been asking Epic Games to add special dances and other forms of expression to the experience. While the company has obliged, it seems like certain moves are the property of certain celebrities. Who knew you could launch lawsuits over dance moves?
Two of the most popular emotes in Fortnite are "The Carlton" and "Floss" dance. If you've seen The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, you may remember Alfonso Ribeiro's iconic moves. Floss is a little more obscure as it was initially performed by Instagram's Russell Horning.
The creators of The Carlton and Floss are currently involved in a legal battle with Epic Games over the use of their dances in Fortnite. While it's unclear how far these lawsuits will go, it seems like one company was sufficiently scared. According to a report by Kotaku, yesterday's Forza Horizon 4 update removed both dances from the game.
It's unclear why Microsoft took this step as we haven't heard anything about a lawsuit directed at the company. However, it may have recieved a cease and desist notice. Additionally, Microsoft may have preemptively removed the dances in order to avoid the lawsuits Epic Games is facing. Kotaku wouldn't manage to get a concrete response from the company when the outlet reached out.
We'll keep you posted as soon as we know how these lawsuits are decided. In many situations, the two parties decide to settle out of court as it beats paying legions of lawyers for months. What do you think about this? Should dance moves be protected like this? Let us know.
Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.
Dance moves, understood as creations of people or performers, should indeed be protected. Fortnite, like other games, is using them for free in a product through which they make money. Tons of money in the case of Epic Games. So I think the claim is fair. And I hope the rest of the dance creators or copyright holders do the same.
I personally don't think short dance moves should be protected. I agree with the current interpretation where an entire production taken as a whole is subject to copyright, but with all the viral videos, line dancing, and general public imitation of short dances copyright doesn't make sense. Would Michael Jackson have a claim on "moonwalking"? Could a movie like Saturday Night Fever or Breakin' ever be made when many of the dances are already popular? Taken to further mediums, would someone saying Flavor Flav's tagline of "Yeah, boyeee" be a compensable offense? Should Netflix be suing everyone doing the "Birdbox challenge"? I think it is stupid for people to pay money for emotes like this in a game, but I also think there needs to be a line drawn where short sayings, dances, etc. are not creative enough to justify copyright protection.
Dance moves in Forza?!?
Why are there dance moves in a car game in the first place?
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