Now Backpack Kid Is Suing Epic Over A Fortnite Dance

It's not easy to prove you own a dance though.

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Now Playing: Fortnite Update Out Now, Driftboard Delayed - GS News Update

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Update: In what's becoming a trend, the latest lawsuit to be filed over a Fortnite dance comes from the so-called Backpack Kid, who is known for the Floss dance. Like the other suits, this might prove to be a difficult argument in court, and matters are made more complex given his apparent involvement in a previous Fortnite promotional event. According to TMZ, the 16-year-old himself doesn't seem especially bothered by the dance's usage, suggesting his mother and manager are responsible for the lawsuit. In the meantime, Fortnite updates and events aren't slowing down. The original story follows.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's Alfonso Ribeiro, who starred as the show's Carlton, is suing Epic Games. Ribeiro's law firm said the the actor is accusing the studio of stealing his dance--commonly referred to by fans of the show as the Carlton dance--for the "Fresh" emote in Fortnite.

According to TMZ, Ribeiro is currently in the process of filing for the copyright for the dance. This announcement comes on the heels of another lawsuit filed against Epic. Terrance Ferguson accused Epic of stealing his Milly Rock dance for Fortnite's "Swipe It" emote, an act he describes as a pattern the studio has for "exploiting African-American talent in particular in Fortnite by copying their dances and movements." Ribeiro is mentioned as another example of this in Ferguson's lawsuit.

Epic has seen several legal disputes when it comes to Fortnite. PUBG Corp., the creators of PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, sued Epic over a concern "that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known." However, the lawsuit was ultimately dropped. Epic hasn't always been on the receiving end of a lawsuit either. The studio sued a QA tester who leaked Fortnite Season 4 secrets, as well as a few streamers for advertising Fortnite cheats.

When it comes to outside the court room, Epic has been enjoying the growing success of Fortnite--which is the number one searched game on Google in 2018. After finding success with cross-platform play on Fortnite between Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC, and mobile devices, Epic Games is sharing its technology with other developers looking to do the same. The studio also launched its own PC game store that offers an enticing alternative to Steam.

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Vodoo

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Even though it's a dance, I'm pretty damn sure you can't patent body movements. That's like saying I'm getting a patent for cracking my knuckles. Ridiculous. The least Epic could do is give props to their inspiration.

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Yams1980

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Sure, fornite probably has profited trillions from this kids dance but he at least got a great name from the incident.

Backpack kid. That names gonna be great when hes 50.

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tsunami2311

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please this not the only game with his "dance" it probably just most popular which isnt his anyway there videos of people doing such dance long before him on you tube.

The future of the human race is looking stupider and stupider.

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Vodoo

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@tsunami2311: dumber and dumber or more stupid than ever. No such word as "stupider," so you're kinda fitting into your statement friend, lol. ?

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sonicare

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I'm also going to sue fortnite over a dance move. Call me napsack kid.

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IllusivePickledOnionMan

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Backpack kid? Lol who tf are these people and where do they keep coming from?

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untouchables111

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Association is all they need to prove infringement on the dances. It not that hard for a lot of them...we alll know where the Carlton came from....and even if you kids don't know...guess what no ones going to ask you..

It going to be really sad to see them payout all these settlements to keep them selves out of the system and Social nightmares.

If Epic truly didn't get permission thats not smart.. unless there is another way to prove they didnt get the idea from the "known" sources.

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BMWPro77

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@untouchables111: According to https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/how-to-copyright-a-dance:

Why Should You Register a Copyright?

You don’t have to register the copyright to your dance with the U.S. Copyright Office, but registration has several important advantages:

  • Registration creates a record of your copyright ownership.
  • You cannot file a lawsuit for copyright infringement unless you have registered your copyright.
  • If you register your copyright within three months of publication or before a copyright infringement occurs, you can receive statutory damages and attorneys fees if you win a copyright infringement lawsuit. Statutory damages are an amount of money awarded per work infringed. If you do not register your copyright prior to an infringement, you can only receive the amount of money you lost or the infringer’s profits.
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Shantmaster_K

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Edited By Shantmaster_K

Can't see either of them winning.

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Vodoo

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@Shantmaster_K: Me neither, but it takes money to defend against these frivolous lawsuits. I assume that companies like Epic have attorneys on retainer year round. But still, it's the point.

It's a waste of everybody's time and causes a major inconvenience. Just like getting a traffic ticket that you know is false. You have to take off work to go to court just to prove you were not guilty. Is the cop or police dept. going to reimburse you for lost wages? Of course not.

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Shantmaster_K

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@Vodoo: Agreed. Just makes the "celebrities" look pathetic too.

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Asultana121x

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The other problem with this is the amount of suing we do in Western society nowadays. It's getting beyond ridiculous. All this money and time and resources are being wasted, and in the end it's the government and the system who wins with all the money they collect.

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Decoy77

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I'm going to copyright breathing. So you all better stop doing it or I'm gonna be suing you all! <<< Makes just as much sense as these dance move lawsuits.

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ChrisChronos

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Edited By ChrisChronos

It's crazy how people think that they own a simple form of movement.

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Pupchu

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Its not unuseal to sue anyone

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Atzenkiller

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People sure are greedy. Is that guy broke now?

But I think I remember seeing that dance in Doom's mp mode as well. I wonder why he didn't sue Bethesda for that.

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ClunkerSlim

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Unfortunately he'll lose. He's gone too long without enforcing a copyright before this. The dance has been used in freakin everything for the last 25 years and he's never said anything before now.

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MasterFrankGrimes

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Good. I hope they lose and have to shut down over it. Fortnite has done nothing but destroy game culture.

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Tony56723

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@masterfrankgrimes: How has Fortnite destroyed gaming culture?

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nintendians

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Edited By nintendians

is he sure that he own that dance move, i feel the director owns that move or whoever told him to do that in that show.

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MasterFrankGrimes

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@nintendians: It's very likely he came up with it himself. The director probably just told him to do some kind of silly dance.

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nintendians

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@masterfrankgrimes: probably. but it's been a long time since that show ended.

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Pyrosa

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Edited By Pyrosa

Simple solution here for Epic: Remove this and all other "questionable" dances from the game. Refund Vbucks to all accounts who bought them. Let the dances disappear from memories/existence at their previous rate of decay.

It would take about 4 hours to plan this simple server-side maintenance window, edit the account records, and push the hotfix that disables the assets.

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CraigTL

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Edited By CraigTL

@Pyrosa: Either way it could be a death sentence. These paid for dances are a large part of how they make revenue being that the game itself is free. I know there are other things like gear and characters to buy but imagine how many millions of times these dances were paid for and downloaded.

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OldDadGamer

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@craigtl: Nah, it won't be a death sentence. It'll cost them money, but it's one dance. They have enough other junk they sell that they'll be fine.

Sadly. I'm very tired of my kids bugging me about it. Can I sue them for that?

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CraigTL

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@olddadgamer: Trauma induced by over use of micro transactions. It sounds like you got a case.

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OldDadGamer

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@craigtl: Injury from the elbow I took to the gut from my eight year old doing some dance without looking where he was flailing his arms.

I'd make a mint.

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CraigTL

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@olddadgamer: Can I join your support group. My son is 4 and he is a Sonic fan so I showed him the game and now he thinks if he runs fast enough he can defy gravity. This is not good for my walls...... or him.

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MasterFrankGrimes

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@Pyrosa: The solution is for Epic to shut its doors and forget this lame Fortnite experiment.

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BDRTFM

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Edited By BDRTFM

People make no sense. It's not OK for these people to sue for money because they are just being greedy. Isn't Epic stealing dance moves and selling them for money not also greedy? Bad enough the courts usually take the side of corporations over people, now people are taking the side of corporations over people. Weird. They created the dance moves, they should be compensated if someone else uses it to make money.

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funny16

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@bdrtfm: Only if it belongs to the person. They don't own the dance moves. It got popular so now Alfonso wants to try and copyright the dance after the fact.

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CraigTL

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@funny16: It sort of does belong to him though.... I mean, its his signature Carlton dance. Every Time he appears people ask him to do it... he has been tormented by it since Fresh Prince and now its back. He should get a check its morally right if nothing else.

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OldDadGamer

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@bdrtfm: Everyone hates lawyers and plaintiffs until they, themselves, feel wronged.

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BDRTFM

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Edited By BDRTFM

@olddadgamer: Unless you actually know a lawyer as a friend or relative. Then you understand they are just doing a job they are good at and can make a living off of. One of my closest friends is a lawyer. One of the nicest people I've ever met. Not every lawyer is an Avenatti.....

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OldDadGamer

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@bdrtfm: Heh. Nice of you to say. I'm a lawyer myself. Haven't practiced in years. Don't miss it at all.

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GooberMcDermit

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Edited By GooberMcDermit

When is someone going to try to copyright breathing, or maybe a bodily function ?

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CraigTL

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@goobermcdermit: If you actually created breathing.... go right ahead.

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BDRTFM

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Edited By BDRTFM

@goobermcdermit: Corporations copyright English words and phrases all the time - even letters of the alphabet and images of fruits and vegetables. I don't see a problem with people copyrighting signature dance moves. Use it as much as you want, just don't make money off of it unless prepared to give the original creator a cut.

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Richardthe3rd

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I don't see him prevailing here or with the copyright, but its publicity I guess.

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itchyflop

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Edited By itchyflop

"Ribeiro is currently in the process of filing for the copyright for the dance", so anyone can use it then until he does or if he does succeed.

SAD state of affairs really, and this is the fkn world today.

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SoNin360

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"exploiting African-American talent in particular in Fortnite by copying their dances and movements."

Oh boy, accusing Fortnite of cultural appropriation. And of course wanting to copyright a dance move... alright, how about I go copyright using the middle finger if body movements are actually something that can have a copyright.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

If you had trademarked the dance sometime within TWENTY YEARS of when you created it (you didn't even create it), your lawsuit might have some creedence.

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OldDadGamer

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@Thanatos2k: Not entirely so. There is an assumed copyright at creation. Filing a copyright is something you do to prove that you actually created something. So, say, you write a book or record a new song, you might want to copyright that before anyone else sees it so I can't steal it and say "What do you mean Thanatos wrote it? It's mine! MINE I say!"

But if the fact that someone did, in fact, create something is not in doubt, then it's assumed he did, in fact, have the copyright and filing it is simply a move to have the copyright office say "Yup. His. Pay him, Epic." Considering this dude has done this thing on TV a million times, he has a pretty good case that he was doing it before Fortnite.

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Thanatos2k

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@olddadgamer: But he wasn't even the first to have done it, as described by others below, so....

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n3rdout

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@Thanatos2k: The guy was a dancer and an actor. He very much created that dance. Also, to the point above, @olddadgamer is absolutely correct. I've been in the entertainment/music business for over 20 years and my copyright attorney would always advise me that we could file copyrights when we needed them or when going to court. Even if someone else filed before we did, but we could prove that we had rights before that person, then we could file a competing filing. There is no way for Epic to win this.

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CyberEarth

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@n3rdout: except for the fact that simple dance moves can't be copyrighted. Only complex routines. Otherwise, Dancing with the Stars would have been out of business long ago!

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xADx

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Well Activision should be sued as well. Ribeiro's Vanity Fair interview in 2015 is going to hurt his case since he stated he copied the moves from Eddie Murphy Delirious and Courteney Cox from a Bruce Springsteen music video.

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luis2113

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Its embarrassing that epic would steal these dances without mentioning or crediting the original artist or creator.

Haha jk it's no big deal but people always get offended when someone steals their work. Even if no one cared when they created their work.

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OldDadGamer

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@luis2113: $$$$$$$$$. People care when someone else makes money off their work. Wouldn't you?

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lonewolf1044

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Oh my goodness suing over an dance, must be in need for money.

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