Epic Games has come under fire for, once again, including a popular dance move in Fornite without crediting the artist.
After the numerous complaints regarding how long Season 2 was, Fortnite seemed to be currying favour with its player base thanks to the aquatic-themed Season 3.
Unfortunately for Epic Games, it’s found itself in hot water after being hit with accusations that it has made a new dance emote without crediting the original artist.
The Freewheelin’ emote technically isn’t in the game yet, and has so far only been leaked by dataminers, but many believe it’s based on a roller-skate dance by actress Ana Coto – including Coto herself.
In April this year, Coto released a video on TikTok of her dancing on roller-skates to the song Jenny From The Block. It went viral and boasts nearly 16 million views.
It’s not surprising that Epic Games would want to add the dance to Fortnite and it’s possible that it intended to credit Coto once it became available, but Coto – who also believes the emote is based on her – has stated to The Verge that the publisher has not approached her yet.
This isn’t even the first time Epic has been accused of stealing dance moves. In 2018, rapper 2 Milly filed a lawsuit against the company for creating an emote based on one of his dances without his permission.
And that’s just one example. There have been similar lawsuits but, so far, they all appear to have all fallen in Epic Games’ favour, partly due to the fact that it’s still unclear if a dance can be copyrighted or not.
And even if they can be, how different does a similar dance have to be to not be considered the same thing? As the Fortnite emote is far from identical to Coto’s dance.
It’s not like Epic hasn’t credited dancers before. Only this year, it held a competition for TikTok users to create their own dance to be turned into a Fortnite emote, with a clear credit given to the winner.
And last month, another viral TikTok star, Jalaiah Harmon, had her Renegade dance included, with Epic openly crediting her when it became available.
Fortnite is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS devices.
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