×

Artists Temporarily Drop ‘Fortnite’ Lawsuits After Supreme Court Ruling

Several artists have pulled their lawsuits against Epic GamesFortnite” for use of their dance moves after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that plaintiffs suing for copyright infringement must have their work registered with the US Copyright Office first, according to a report from Law360 via law firm Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hect.

Alfonso Ribeiro, 2 Milly, the ‘Orange Shirt Kid,’ and ‘The Backpack Kid’ have all voluntarily dismissed their cases against Epic Games for using their dance moves as emotes in “Fortnite,” in order to first register their dances with the US Copyright Office. The cases will be refiled, according to the report from Law360.

Ribeiro, star of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was denied a copyright last month for his famous “Carlton” dance. Ribeiro previously filed a lawsuit against not only the creators of “Fortnite,” but also Take-Two Interactive for the use of the “Carlton” in “NBA 2K16.” The copyright denial stated that because the “Carlton” consists of three dance movements it is not a work of choreography and is thus not protected under copyright law.

In order to successfully sue for copyright infringement, the artists must first obtain a copyright on their dances. Once registration is done, the artists can then sue for copyright infringement, even if the offense occurred prior to registration. This is according to the ruling Fourth Estate Pub. Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC.

Popular on Variety

“Registration occurs, and a copyright claimant may commence an infringement suit, when the Copyright Office registers a copyright,” according to the Supreme Court document found via the SCOTUS blog. “Upon registration of the copyright, however, a copyright owner can recover for infringement that occurred both before and after registration.”

The challenge might be for the artists to fully convince the Copyright Office that the dances are more than just a combination of simple dance movements, if Ribeiro’s dismissal is any indication.

The lawsuits against Epic Games’ use of dances grabbed the attention of the public starting last year, and even resulted in some spoof emails claiming to come from Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht sent to the US Copyright Office to try and end the lawsuits.

Still confused why “Fortnite” is getting hit with lawsuits over its in-game dance animations? We broke it all down for you right here on Variety.

More Gaming

  • Activision-Blizzard-Overwatch-League-Grand-Finals-2018

    YouTube Scores Exclusive Streaming for Activision Blizzard's E-Sports, Including Overwatch and Call of Duty Leagues

    YouTube landed a multiyear deal as the exclusive live-streaming partner for Activision Blizzard’s e-sports events worldwide, including Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, Hearthstone Esports. The agreement (which excludes China) promises to give a big boost to YouTube Gaming, the video giant’s dedicated home for all things related to games. It’s also a loss for [...]

  • Conan Unconquered

    Tencent Bids for Control of Funcom 'Conan' Games Developer

    China’s social media and gaming giant Tencent is bidding to buy control of Funcom, developer of the “Conan” and “Dune” games. The bid values the Norwegian company at $148 million. Tencent already owns 29% of Funcom, and its bid has been unanimously approved by Funcom’s board of directors. No management changes are planned. The shares [...]

  • 100 Thieves

    Esports Organization 100 Thieves Unveils New Facility in Los Angeles

    As of Wednesday, popular esports organization 100 Thieves has an official home in Los Angeles. The group unveiled its new 15,000 square-foot facility, officially named the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound, in a media preview with some of its biggest personalities and owner Scooter Braun on hand. Also in attendance was Jack Dorsey, the CEO [...]

  • Marvel-Strike-Force-FoxNext

    Disney Sells FoxNext Games Unit to Scopely

    Disney has sold off FoxNext Games, the studio it obtained through the purchase of 20th Century Fox, to mobile-games developer Scopely. Terms of the pact were not disclosed. Under the terms of the pact, Scopely is acquiring FoxNext Games Los Angeles, the game studio behind hit game “Marvel Strike Force,” and San Jose-based Cold Iron [...]

  • Call of Duty The Campaign

    Watch the First Episode of New Call of Duty League Docuseries 'The Campaign' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Even a new league comes with history. That’s one of the takeaways from the first episode of “The Campaign,” which follows the Chicago Huntsmen in the lead-up to Activision Blizzard’s new franchised Call of Duty League. Variety is debuting the first episode exclusively, which details some of the narrative that follows the Huntsmen (based in [...]

  • Vindex - Imax

    Imax Jumps Into Esports in Exclusive Pact With Startup Vindex

    Hold on to your popcorn: An Imax location near you could soon be beaming live competitive video-game action onto its big screens. Imax has inked a partnership with Vindex (vindex.gg), an esports infrastructure startup formed by Major League Gaming co-founders Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni, under which Vindex will create esports events and experiences exclusively [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content