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  • Writer's picturePeter Lamont, Esq.

Appeals Court Reinstates Copyright Lawsuit Against 'Fortnite' for Dance Move Use

NEWS UPDATE

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reinstated a copyright lawsuit brought by choreographer Kyle Hanagami against Epic Games, the creator of the popular video game Fortnite. Hanagami, who has choreographed for notable artists such as BTS, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, and Britney Spears, alleges that Epic Games unlawfully used his dance moves in the game as "emotes" without permission.

fortnite lawsuit copyright

Previously, a lower court had dismissed Hanagami's lawsuit, ruling that the dance moves were merely a series of unprotectable "poses." However, the appeals court disagreed, This landmark decision does not imply Hanagami has won but allows him to continue his litigation in the lower court, potentially leading to a trial. Epic Games has not commented on the ruling, while Hanagami's attorney David Hecht has expressed that the decision is a significant victory for the rights of choreographers and creatives, especially in the digital media era. This lawsuit is one of several recent legal actions concerning the use of dance moves in video games, indicating a growing legal scrutiny in this creative field.


Implications of the Ruling

This decision underscores a significant shift in how choreographic works are perceived in the digital age, recognizing the complexity and originality that choreographers bring to their compositions. It paves the way for deeper consideration of the artistic merit and copyright eligibility of choreographic works, especially in the rapidly evolving realm of digital media.

Do You Think Kyle Hanagami's Lawsuit Against Epic Games Will Succeed?

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Do you have questions about the legal issues discussed in this post? If so, contact us today at our Bergen County Office. Call Us at (201) 904-2211 or email Us at info@pjlesq.com

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As with any legal issue, it is important that you obtain competent legal counsel before making any decisions about how to respond to a subpoena or whether to challenge one - even if you believe that compliance is not required. Because each situation is different, it may be impossible for this article to address all issues raised by every situation encountered in responding to a subpoena. The information below can give you guidance regarding some common issues related to subpoenas, but you should consult with an attorney before taking any actions (or refraining from acts) based on these suggestions. Separately, this post will focus on New Jersey law. If you receive a subpoena in a state other than New Jersey, you should immediately seek the advice of an attorney in your state, as certain rules differ in other states.






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