Rapper 2 Milly has filed a suit against Epic Games for selling dance moves in Fortnite made famous by himself and other artists without consent.
For several months now, the artists behind some of Fortnite’s most iconic moves have been calling on developer Epic to compensate them or "put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as Emotes".
According to TMZ, the rapper has now filed legal documentation against Epic Games for allegedly using his popular ‘Milly Rock’ moves – although you might know it better as Season 5 premium emote, "Swipe It". Attorney David L. Hecht of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP says his firm is "proud to stand up for African-American creatives whose expression and likenesses have misappropriated", and stated "Epic is enjoying record profits off of downloadable content in Fortnite, yet has failed to pay or even ask permission to use artists’ intellectual property and likenesses over many of its popular emote dances".
"This isn’t the first time that Epic Games has brazenly misappropriated the likeness of African-American talent," the law firm added. "Our client Lenwood ‘Skip’ Hamilton is pursuing similar claims against Epic for use of his likeness in the popular ‘Cole Train’ character in the Gears of Wars video game franchise. Epic cannot be allowed to continue to take what does not belong to it."
2 Milly was only made aware of the dance when fans contacted him over social media. He told TMZ that Epic "took his craft and sold it as their own", and while he’s "not trying to ruin the game for anyone", he wants the "Swipe It" dance removed and fair compensation.
Interestingly, there’s no precedent case law a copyrighting choreography, and patents for individual dance moves cannot be made to the US Copyright Office due to creative choreographic expression.
As yet, Epic has declined to comment on the case.