Copyright nastig and choreography: the creators of Fortnite sued because of the dance pa game characters

    Actor Alfonso Ribeiro performs the dance The Carlton in the TV show

    Fortnite - a game that in a short time received a huge number of fans. Each month, the creators add different features and chips that allow you to keep community members, while attracting new members. However, incidents happen.

    So, relatively recently in the game appeared popular dance moves, which almost immediately became the subject of litigation . The problem is dance called Milly Rock. The dance created in 2014 a real musician for his video. And now dance movements are used in the game with a base of 200 million people.

    The musician, whose name is Terrence Ferguson, seeing all this, went directly to court. It happened two weeks ago, and almost immediately after Ferguson’s lawsuit, complaints were received from two more artists. One of them concerns the Carlton Dance dance, the second - The Floss dance.

    The subject of litigation is understandable, it is unclear just whether it is possible to copy dance movements? It turned out that yes, in any case, in the UK. But there are difficulties. According to a lawyer from the Sheridans company, the dance can be made “your own”, but only if its creation is documented and the dance itself is filmed. If the dance simply exists, then the rights to it cannot be obtained.

    This is convenient for the plaintiffs, since the video evidence of the existence of the dances invented by them is, likewise, there is a video where the movements of the game characters and real dancers performing the same dance are compared.

    More difficult with the definition of the copyright holder. Who owns the rights - the creator, dancer or choreographer? How can they prove that they have created something new, and did not use the ideas and dance movements that were created earlier? How can they prove that their rights are really violated? All these are difficult questions to be answered by lawyers involved in the process.

    In the US, its difficulties. Here the choreography is protected by law (1976 Copyright Act). But the law sees a difference in the dance invented by a specific person, which is protected by law, and the “public” dance, which is the property of any citizen. This, for example, flamenco, tango, etc. So no one can lay a waltz, and then demand in court hundreds of millions of US dollars from "violators."

    Also in the USAcopyright cannot be protected by individual dance steps. Even if a particular dance is protected by law, then separate movements from it can be used freely. Lawmakers understand that the individual pas in different dances may coincide, they are like the bricks that make up the building. And if the building can be unique, then the brick is not. The same applies to short combinations.

    And this moment is just very important for the game Fortnite, because the characters perform short fragments of the dance, and not completely copy the entire sequence of movements. Epic Games, the creator of the game, is trying to prove that this is just about fragments, so the Fortnite developer cannot be accused of copyright infringement.

    In addition, as mentioned above, it is difficult to prove authorship of a dance, since it consists of separate pas, which can be shared, used in many other dances.

    Alfonso Ribeiro, creator of Carlton, argues that this is his "intellectual property." But this statement is questionable, since many people performed similar steps . In addition, Carlton was first performed on a TV show, so there is a problem with the definition of the copyright holder. Who is he? The creator of the dance, the company owning the show or someone else?

    By the way, all of the above is not only related to Fortnite. Other games also use dancing. For example, Forza Horizon 4. And the authors of the latter have already begun to delete sequences of dance movements, despite the fact that so far no one has made any complaints about this company.

    Apparently, the proceedings will be lengthy, and the final of all this is difficult to predict. In many countries, the case law, so that the decisions made by the judges will be very significant for the future of the gaming field, and not only that.

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