Epic Games is subject once again to a new Fortnite Lawsuit, this time for alleged copyright infringement on the “It's Complicated” emote.
The Fortnite Emote “It's Complicated” (see video below) is the subject of a new Fortnite Lawsuit. This is newsworthy at the very least for the fact that we haven't seen a Fortnite Lawsuit coming out of a copyright claim since 2019. However, the plaintiffs believe that they have a strong case, and that their complaints are more enforceable, and thus different, to the ones that precede this case.
The Fortnite Lawsuit claims that the Fortnite Emote “It's Complicated”, released in August 2020 and can be bought for 500 V-Bucks, infringes on the rights of Kyle Hanagami, a dance choreographer who claims to have come up with the dance moves for Charlie Puth's 2017 song How Long.
While the lawsuits against Epic Games have slowed down over the past years due to a change in copyright lawsuit filing procedures in 2019 upheld by the US Supreme Court, Hanagami's lawyers say that their case is different. The changes in 2019 state that lawsuits can only be filed after the Copyright Office had either approved or rejected an application – a process that could take several months. This changed the previous procedure of being able to contest copyright as soon as a copyright applicant has been registered.
Hanagami's representatives claim that this Fortnite Lawsuit is different since Hanagami does in fact has his choreography registered, thus making the copyright claim enforceable.
To address the copyright claims of various creators, Epic Games took steps in licensing the dance moves they use in their Fortnite Emotes, making deals with content creators who come up with the moves. However, Hanagami's representatives claim that no such offer was made to them, and hence, Epic Games is profiting off Hanagami's work.
Hanagami's lawsuit aims to have Epic Games pay up for damages and legal costs, hoping to take with him what he sees as rightfully his from Epic Games' sales of the contested emote.