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Celebrities drop  Fortnite  dance lawsuits, but only temporarily

Celebrities drop Fortnite dance lawsuits, but only temporarily

March 11, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

Some of the biggest names suing Fortnite maker Epic Games for allegedly misappropriating their dance moves in-game have temporarily dropped their lawsuits. 

Fresh Prince actor Alfonso Ribeiro, rapper 2 Milly, and dancer Russell Horning (a.k.a. Backpack Kid), have all dropped their claims against Epic, but are expected to reinitiate proceedings in the future. 

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, all three plaintiffs are represented by the same law firm, Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Heck, which has described the move as "purely procedural."

"We will continue to vigorously fight for our clients' rights against those who wrongly take their creations without permission and without compensation," commented attorney David Hecht.

The news comes shortly after Ribeiro was refused the copyright on his 'Carlton Dance,' which he claims is being unlawfully replicated and sold in Fortnite as the 'Fresh' emote. 

The U.S. Copyright Office told Ribeiro that three individual dance steps isn't registrable as a choreographic work, potentially damaging his case against Epic. 

As for Epic, the company claims that "no one can own a dance step," and suggested the lawsuits it's facing are "fundamentally at odds with free speech principles."

It'll be interesting to see how each plaintiff attempts to move their case forward after the current hiatus, as the results could have wide-ranging consequences for developers throughout the games industry.

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