American rapper 2 Milly has engaged lawyers to take legal against Epic Games for copying his 'Milly Rock' dance for an emote they sold in Fortnite Battle Royale without paying, asking, or even crediting him. 2 Milly has expressed frustration over this before, as have a number of other people who felt their moves were copied by Epic's mega-hit game. Exactly what the lawyers will do is unknown, but I'll go out on a limb and guess it involves a cheque with a number of zeroes.
Fortnite's 'Swipe It' dance, which sure looks to be based on the Milly Rock, was sold as part of Fortnite's Season 5 Battle Pass. Players would need to buy that doodad for 950 V-Bucks (about £8/$10) then level it up a load to unlock the dance at level 63 of 100. It wasn't sold separately, like some Fortnite dances, but it was sold and it was an incentive to play loads.
"I was never compensated by Epic Games for their use of the 'Milly Rock.' They never even asked for my permission," 2 Milly said in the legal firm's announcement. "I am thrilled to have David Hecht and his team at Pierce Bainbridge representing me to help right this wrong."
The Milly Rock was already part of pop culture before Epic picked it up, seen everywhere from football pitches to American football battlezones, but it was broadly known to be Milly's. Now it's joined the class of dances which weirdly have become 'Fortnite dances' to many, moves which are copied by kiddywinkles and help further the game's dominion over youth culture.
Copyright laws covering choreography and dance moves are a little hazy, with some things covered but others deemed too small to be protectable. If you're curious, I found this law firm's blog post informative. I don't know whether the Milly Rock qualifies, but I'm sure the lawyers can think of many angles to go after Epic. The firm say they will pursue action over Epic's "misappropriation, use and sale" of the dance.
This is still a good idea:
Fortnite should put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as Emotes. Black creatives created and popularized these dances but never monetized them. Imagine the money people are spending on these Emotes being shared with the artists that made them— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) July 13, 2018
Fortnite Battle Royale Season 7 is due to start this week, with an iceberg on the horizon and wee puffs of fog coming out mouths. It's going to be a cold winter.