Rapper threatens to sue Fortnite maker for ‘stolen’ dance move

By on November 20, 2018

Arapper says he will sue the makers of the video game Fortnite for stealing his dance move.

The popular online shooting game introduced a battlefield dance, known as an “emote”, which it is claimed is similar to US rapper 2 Milly’s signature move the Milly Rock.

Players can buy the dance, named “Swipe It” in the game, for around $5 (£3.89), which allows their avatar to perform it. Selling dance moves, which allow players to stand out, are one way that the free game makes money.

“They actually sell that particular move. It’s for purchase,” Brooklyn rapper 2 Milly, who first performed the dance in 2014, told CBS News. “That’s when I really was like… oh nah, this can’t go on too long.”

He added that he does not intend to sue “for all the millions” but wants to protect “what’s mine”.

The online video game’s explosion in popularity means the emotes have become widely copied, with Fortnite dance classes even available in David Lloyd fitness centres.

But the creators of the dance moves are unhappy that Epic Games, Fortnite’s developer, is profiting from their work.

Eagle-eyed fans have previously noticed Snoop Dogg’s dance from the 2004 song Drop it Like it’s Hot appearing in Fortnite, as well as a routine to the 1990 Bell Biv DeVoe song Poison performed by actor Donald Faison in the popular US medical sitcom Scrubs.

The practice has led some musicians to criticise the game’s developers for failing to notify or credit the creators of the moves, who tend to be black comedians, dancers and rappers.

In July, Chicago musician Chance the Rapper said: “Fortnite should put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as Emotes. Black creatives created and popularised these dances but never monetised them.

“Imagine the money people are spending on these Emotes being shared with the artists that made them.”

The likelihood of successfully suing for theft of a dance move seems less than certain. It is generally thought to be possible to copyright an entire dance, but not a singular move.

The Swipe it emote now appears to have disappeared from the game, though players who had already paid for it can still access it.

Epic Games did not respond to a request for comment.

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