Epic Games has filed to have 2 Milly’s lawsuit against the company dismissed. The developer, which is being sued by the rapper of its use of his ‘Milly Rock’ dance move as an in-game Fortnite emote, says that the lawsuit is “fundamentally at odds with free speech principles.”
In court documents published earlier this week (via The Hollywood Reporter) Epic went on to say that the lawsuit “attempts to impose liability, and thereby chill creative expression, by claiming rights that do not exist under the law. No one can own a dance step.”
Those documents go even further, saying that “copyright law is clear that individual dance steps and simple dance routines are not protected by copyright, but rather are building blocks of free expression, which are in the public domain for choreographers, dancers, and the general public to use, perform, and enjoy.” Furthermore, it states that “copyright does not protect mere ideas and concepts, which are free for all to use.”
Finally, it claims that Fortnite’s “Swipe It” emote features some major differences to the Milly Rock, and it’s all fine anyway, because 2 Milly doesn’t say any of the characters who can use the dance bear any similarity to him.
2 Milly is, of course, not the only person to take action against Epic for their use of ‘their’ dance move. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Alfonso Ribeiro, flosser extraordinaire Backpack Kid, and even the kid behind Orange Justice have all issued lawsuits against Epic.
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While Epic is fighting against its lawsuits, other developers have decided they don’t want to take any chances – emotes very similar to some of those in question over at Epic have been removed from Forza Horizon 4.
If 2 Milly’s case is indeed dismissed, I imagine we’ll see several other cases go the same way. If Epic is able to successfully argue that dance moves are in the public domain, other would-be choreographers will likely struggle to prove otherwise.