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File this one under “slightly stranger than fiction.” The Orange Shirt Kid sues Epic Games after the Fortnite creators included a dance of his that went viral in Fortnite. So it is thus: Epic Games is being taken to court, following suit with a number of other notable personalities. The lawsuit is kicking off in The United States District Court for the Central District of California and seeks unspecified damages from Epic Games for copyright infringement specifically relating to his dance that proved wildly popular with the Fortnite community.
Here’s a bit more background on the subject: Fortnite includes dances in their game as emotes, some of which can be purchased through the in-game shop and some of which are given away in special circumstances. In short, Epic Games makes money off of these dances.
A number of people have chimed in on this subject. Donald Faison of Scrubs and Clueless fame felt frustrated that the company was making money using his dance moves. Rapper 2 Milly, Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince, America’s Funniest Home Videos), and Backpack Kid have all began legal proceedings against Epic in an effort to get their cut of the game’s massive success, leading us to the day where Orange Shirt Kid sues the company over his dance.
What will happen if the lawsuit where Orange Shirt Kid sues Epic Games goes forward? Well, the future is uncertain. The question of whether or not you can even copyright a dance has gone back and forth in the courts for a long time now. Still, many companies decide to err on the side of caution because the legality of copyrighting a dance is a difficult question to answer and ultimately an unknown quantity that’s difficult to calculate.
The specifics of the lawsuit where Orange Shirt Kid sues Epic Games is detailed on Variety. His mother (acting on behalf of her son, as he’s a minor) is seeking unspecified damages for copyright infringement. It also mentions that he suffered a measure of bullying as a result of the video’s popularity. If Orange Shirt Kid (or any of the other growing list of people suing Epic Games over their funky moves) succeeds, we may see a fundamental change to one of the most popular games in recent memory. In the meantime, take a trip down nostalgia lane and watch a mirror of the original dance video that captured our hearts.