While the basics of Copyright Law are over a century old, the law evolves with the times. Unless you have been living in a cave for the few years, you have heard of Fortnite and its popularity, the gaming craze that has captured the imaginations of teens and older people alike. Consider this profile of the game in The New Yorker, one of the more genteel literary publications that has survived the internet age.
Epic Games, which is the company that produces Fortnite was sued yesterday in Federal Court in California by rapper 2 Milly for allegedly reproducing his likeness and dance moves in the game without a license.
Under the Copyright Act, choreography is protectable. That means if the creators of dance moves take the time and care to register their work with the Copyright Office, then those creators have the muscularity of the Copyright Act behind them if their protected choreography has been infringed upon. The complaint alleges that 2 Milly did register his work.
This will be an interesting case to watch progress. One significant aspect of this is the alleged misappropriation of 2 Milly’s likeness, which is separately actionable in California and many other states (including Pennsylvania).
More updates and analysis to come…