Fortnite, copyright and the legal precedent that could still mean trouble for Epic Games

TechCrunch | 3/4/2019 | Staff
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Anne Friedman is of counsel at DLA Piper where she focuses her practice on structuring and negotiating large scale sourcing and technology transactions.

Andrew Deutsch is a partner at DLA Piper concentrating on intellectual property litigation and advice, including copyright, trademark, defamation and other First Amendment concerns, trade secret, unfair competition and misappropriation, advertising law, and law of the Internet, social media and electronic databases.

Ric - Flaggert - Partner - DLA - Piper

Ric Flaggert is a partner at DLA Piper where he focuses his global practice on entertainment, media, and communications matters.

A new US Supreme Court decision is pitting entertainers and video game developers against one another in a high-stakes battle royale.

Decision - Fourth - Estate - Public - Benefit

The decision in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC raises interesting questions about several lawsuits brought against Epic Games, the publisher of popular multiplayer game Fortnite.

In Fortnite, players may make in-game purchases, allowing player avatars to perform popular dance moves (called emotes), such as the Carlton, the Floss, and the Milly Rock.

Performers - Law - Firm - Lawsuits - Epic

Five performers, all represented by the same law firm, recently filed separate lawsuits against Epic Games in the Central District of California, each alleging: (i) the performer created a dance; (ii) the dance is uniquely identified with the performer; (iii) an Epic emote is a copy of the dance; and (iv) Epic’s use of the dance infringes the plaintiff’s copyright in the dance move and the dancer’s right to publicity under California statutory and common law.

In short, the dance creators argue that Epic Games used their copyrightable dance moves in violation of existing law.

Fortnite - Lawsuits - California - US - Supreme

What do these Fortnite lawsuits in California have to do with the US Supreme Court? US copyright law says that a copyright owner can’t sue for copyright infringement until “registration of the copyright claim has been made” with the US Copyright Office. Prior to the recent Supreme Court decision in Fourth Estate,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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