If you are a core Fortnite player and follow updates on the game, you should be aware of the dance moves copyright case. Last year, this case hit the court, but the case was thrown under the bus and didn’t bother Epic Games. Now months after its debut to the court, the case is reopening with a new approach to things.
The major reason why this court case didn’t hold water in court a year and a few months ago is because the evidence wasn’t enough. According to the court, the Fortnite dance and that of the plaintiff “do not share enough creative elements” or similarities. For this reason, the court judged that the evidence and dance moves can’t constitute a copyright infringement.
Kyle Hanagami is the plaintiff in this case and he is also a popular professional dance choreographer. After about a year of having his case dismissed from court, the professional dancer is taking his case back to court. This time around he is fighting not only for the ‘infringement’ of his moves but also for the rights of choreographers, and other creatives.
The reopening of the Fortnite dance moves copyright case might not only be about Kyle Hanagami
While Kyle is still fighting for the copyright infringement on his dance moves by Fortnite, the case might go beyond that. Last year, when this case first got to the court, Kyle uploaded a video of the similarities between his moves and those of Fortnite characters. From the video, it’s clear that if Fortnite did copy anything from him, it was a set of moves.
These moves are from the Kyle Hanagami dance for Charlie Puth’s song ‘How Long.’ However, last year the court didn’t see a copyright case there, but Kyle Hanagami and his lawyers aren’t giving up. This year they are reopening the case and liking it to the case of music copyrights.
In a 31-page document to the court, Kyle Hanagami’s lawyer draws a nice similarity with the music industry. According to the lawyer, Judge Richard Paez, calling choreography moves “poses” is like calling music “notes.” There is a lot of work that goes into making those moves, and their usage on large audiences can give some accolade to the one responsible for making the move.
In this case, Kyle Hanagami is responsible for making some dance moves Fortnight characters show off after battles. By reopening this case, not only Kyle Hanagami but also other choreographers and creatives might have their voices heard. The success of this case might determine whether these will be able to seek acknowledgement for the use of their works. More information on this reopened case will become available in the coming days.