The dance movements of the characters of Fortnite – the video game phenomenon of recent months – invite themselves regularly in the playgrounds. And, maybe soon, in court. Monday, December 17, the American actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who embodied the character of Carlton in the TV series The prince of Bel-Air, has complained against Epic Games, the creator of the game, accusing him of having plagiarized one of his dance moves. He claims to have invented it in 1991 for his character of Prince of Bel-Air, and have rediscovered it in Fortnite.
The complaint, filed in a federal court in Los Angeles, accuses Epic Games of having used “Without authorization dance, trademark of Mr. Ribeiro” and claims damages and interest. “Epic can not benefit from Ribeiro's hard-earned celebrity by owning it”.
This dance, popularized with The prince of Bel-Air, had become a very popular “meme” in recent years on the Internet, declined to infinity in animated GIF.
The name given by Fortnite to this movement, “Fresh”, could be interpreted as a nod to the original title of the series, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Rapper 2 Milly also
This is not the first time Fortnite is accused of having plagiarized dance movements. In early December, rapper 2 Milly had also filed a lawsuit against Epic Games for a similar reason: he believes that the named dance “Swipe it” in Fortnite is modeled, without authorization, on one of his dance steps, present in a clip of 2014. He also continues Take-Two Interactive, which he accuses of having used the same step of dance in the game NBA 2K18.
Epic Games had already been pinned this summer by another artist, Chance the Rapper, who had asked him in a tweet to share his income with the creators of these dance movements. “Black artists created and popularized these dances, but never monetized them. Imagine that the money people spend in these dances is shared with the people who invented them. “
Fortnite Battle Royale is a game in which one hundred players must compete on a shrinking ground. Dance moves, which players can use to express their joy or make fun of an opponent, are sometimes free, sometimes paying, in which case they generate income for Epic Games. With 200 million registered, Fornite has become in a few months a global phenomenon and one of the biggest successes in the history of video games.