Supreme Court ruling leads to dropped Fortnite emote cases

A Supreme Court ruling has lead to Fortnite emote copyright cases to be dropped.


Remember all those lawsuits filed against Epic Games because of potentially copyright-infringing emotes? You probably saw all them come out all at once – rapper 2 Milly, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro, and others came out with lawsuits against the developer.

The lawsuits alleged that their copyrighted dances, like the Milly Rock and the "Carlton dance," were used in Fortnite without permission. A new ruling by the Supreme Court has caused these lawsuits to be swiftly dropped – for the time being, anyway.

The ruling states that people must compete a registration with the Copyright Office before they can properly sue for copyright infringement. As such, their lawsuits have been dropped until the Copyright Office can review the dances involved.

“The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. brought forth a major change in copyright law in much of the country,” said David Hecht, the attorney representing those with cases against Epic Games in an email to Kotaku. “Previously, plaintiffs could file copyright infringement lawsuits as soon as they applied for a registration with the Copyright Office. Now, plaintiffs have to wait for the Copyright Office to act on that application before filing suit, which, as a result of its backlog, can sometimes take many months.”

So it's possible that these lawsuits could still go through, but it would mean those involved in the suits have to wait a bit before they can move forward, and that's only if the copyright rules in their favor and they can obtain a copyright. So far, Epic Games' spokespeople haven't commented on the situation, but one thing's likely for sure – we're all pretty well ready to see this copyright battle come to an end, whoever ends up coming out on top. It's been an "epic" battle, to say the least.

Senior Editor

Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a Senior Editor at Shacknews who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

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