YouTuber accuses Epic of stealing a dance move for Fortnite Emote

Someone else accused Epic of stealing dance moves, but this lawsuit could actually drag on.


fortnite fish stick
via Epic

Fortnite is a video game juggernaut and a cultural phenomenon for several reasons. Crossovers with movies and artists, in-game concerts, and the various other elements of pop culture that have made their way into the game. Even Fortnite emotes have a huge role to play in its popularity as the game adopts gestures and dance moves that have become famous, or have been famous in the past, and take them to a whole new level.

Fortnite’s adoption of dance moves that may have been made famous elsewhere has landed Epic in hot water in the past. It’s been a while since a lawsuit was filed against the studio over a Fortnite dance move, but that has now changed thanks to a claim made by Kyle Hanagami, Gamesindustry.biz reports. The YouTuber claims Epic has been using a dance move they’ve been creating in Fortnite since 2020, and this lawsuit sounds a little different than those that came before it.

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The disputed dance move is Fortnite’s It’s Complicated emote, and although it’s been in the game since 2020, Hanagami claims he’s been using it since 2017. The choreographer claims Fortnite turned the move into an emote without permission . The reason this allegation differs from others made against Epic in the past is that Hanagami claims to have copyrighted the dance move and owns the rights to it.


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Others who have filed similar lawsuits against Epic in the past include Alfonso Ribeiro of Fresh Prince fame and Instagram influencer Backpack Kid. All previous lawsuits alleging Epic stole dance moves and repurposed them for Fortnite emotes have been dismissed as those who claimed to have created them were deemed not to own the rights. Hanagami claims it does, which could mean this case has a very different outcome.

Although Fortnite continues to be one of the biggest IPs in the gaming world right now, if not the biggest, Epic continues to struggle with lawsuits related to it for a number of reasons. The biggest of these costumes comes in the form of the company’s long-running battle with Apple. The latest twist in that tail favors Epic, as an EU law that allows sideloading of third-party apps could mean Fortnite returning to iOS devices in some parts of the world.

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