Lawsuits against Epic games are now piling up: the mother of Orange Shirt Kid is suing the Fortnite creator for using her son's dance in the game's Season 4 Battle Pass.
This Fortnite dance dispute is the latest among the growing number of legal cases against Epic Games. Rapper 2 Milly, The Backpack Kid, and Alfonso Ribeiro, known for his portrayal as Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, previously sued Epic Games over the same issue.
Rachel McCumbers, Orange Shirt Kid's mom, filed the lawsuit last week, suing Epic Games for copyright infringement after using her son's dance move called "The Random."
The suit states that after Orange Shirt Kid's dance gained popularity, Fortnite players encouraged Epic Games to incorporate the dance as a game emote. The lawsuit also said that Orange Shirt Kid has since been a victim of "extreme cyberbullying," which forced him to deactivate his YouTube and Instagram accounts.
McCumbers and Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP — the same law firm that represents other plaintiffs who sued Epic Games — filed the case on behalf of Orange Shirt Kid. The party is seeking unspecified damages.
The BoogieDown Contest
Here's a bit of a backstory: early last year, Epic Games hosted a BoogieDown Contest, which called for Fortnite fans to submit their signature dance moves for a chance to be included in the game.
Orange Shirt Kid submitted an entry but didn't make it into the final list of winners.
Despite not making the cut, Orange Shirt Kid's dance — then called "The Random" — still won the hearts of many Fortnite players that they started a "justice for Orange Shirt Kid" petition in Change.org. Epic Games eventually gave in and added the dance as an emote for Fortnite, which they called "Orange Justice."
The contest's rules on licensing clearly states that players won't be paid for their entries. Epic Games also indicated that it has the right to use the entries for the game's publicity.
"As a condition of entry, Contestants hereby grants to Sponsor a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, transferable, sublicensable, and royalty free license to use, modify, reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute, perform, and display the Submission in any and all media throughout the world and for whatever purpose Sponsor deems."
Oddly enough, the lawsuit didn't even mention anything about the BoogieDown Contest, which is where Orange Kid Shirt's dance became popular in the first place. Interestingly, Orange Shirt Kid's celebratory tweets after his dance was included in Fortnite are now deleted.