BlocBoy JB sues Epic Games over Fornite using his dance moves

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Shoot, which is known as Hype in the game, is one of the most popular Fortnite dance emotes and is often mimicked. BlocBoy JB says he invented the move, and that Epic Games added it to their famous title without asking. Check out both the dances below for comparison.

TMZ reports that while BlocBoy JB hadn’t registered a copyright on the dance when Fortnite starting using it, he is currently in the process of “locking it down,” according to the site.

"I just don't think it's fair what Epic is doing," said BlocBoy JB, in a statement. "I started the dance and made it popular through my music. Epic didn't ask me if they could put it in Fortnite." He is claiming copyright infringement, violation of the right of publicity, unfair competition and trademark infringement.

BlocBoy JB joins The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s Afonso Ribeiro, rapper 2 Milly, Russell “Backpack Kid” Horning, and Orange Shirt Kid in suing Fortnite for unauthorized use of a dance. As with all the other cases, he is being represented by the law firm of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP.

It remains to be seen how these lawsuits turn out—they may come down to what extent you can copyright a dance. Out of all the cases, Orange Shirt Kid seems to be on the shakiest ground: the Orange Justice dance, originally called ‘The Random,’ was submitted to Epic Games as part of a competition. It didn’t win, but fans petitioned for its inclusion in Fortnite.

Epic Games is unlikely to be too worried, though. Even if it loses, Fortnite generated $2.4 billion in revenue last year, “the most annual revenue of any game in history,” so it's not short of cash.

James Baker, aka Blocboy JB... by on Scribd

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Pretty pathetic and a clear indication of limited talents when this is the best reason you can find to bring suite. And if the court allows this to go forward without the so called "move" being patented, then shame on the court for ignoring the law and standards of practice ......

Oh, by the way, I just registered my patient on sitting while taking a squat so the rest of you better start paying me the $1 per squat or start standing up .... camera's in bathrooms will be my next tactical move (it will hurt ME a lot more than it will hurt you!)
 

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
At this point I think that judges need to send a message by simply rubber-stamping all of these lawsuits without a hearing with the following:

"Individual movements or dance steps by themselves are not copyrightable, such as the basic waltz step, the hustle step, the grapevine, or the second position in classical ballet. The U.S. Copyright Office cannot register short dance routines consisting of only a few movements or steps with minor linear or spatial variations, even if a routine is novel or distinctive."

That is straight from the USCO’s guidelines for Copyright Registration of Choreography and Pantomime.

EDIT: I hadn't watched the video but just did and LMAO. No wonder BlocBoy JB is trying to sue Epic. He has no rapping or dancing talent.
 
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mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Pretty pathetic and a clear indication of limited talents when this is the best reason you can find to bring suite. And if the court allows this to go forward without the so called "move" being patented, then shame on the court for ignoring the law and standards of practice ......

Oh, by the way, I just registered my patient on sitting while taking a squat so the rest of you better start paying me the $1 per squat or start standing up .... camera's in bathrooms will be my next tactical move (it will hurt ME a lot more than it will hurt you!)
I agree the move if frivolous, but retroactive copyrights are allowed for things like this. In fact, you generally need to sue for infringement in the first place.
 
S

senketsu

Gotta love their logic
"He is claiming copyright infringement" but then it clearly states
"TMZ reports that while BlocBoy JB hadn’t registered a copyright on the dance when Fortnite starting using it, he is currently in the process of “locking it down,” according to the site.
So he is suing for copyright infringement when he has no copyright....makes perfect sense! And the lawyers had no problem taking his case.
 

Misagt

TS Evangelist
So now if you post some stupid video you own the rights to it? We have gotten completely insane regarding Copyrights. Soon you'll have to pay someone for the right to breath and walk down the street.
 
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tellmewhy

TS Rookie
The idea of copyright is that it is the first necessary step to allow to something to be salable.

In physical world there isn’t a necessity because someone can sell apples without own the copyright.

But in digital world where there aren't energy limits in the reproduction and distribution of the product the law is coming to help with the idea of copyright.
But keep in mind that copyright is there to help someone sell his product and not to stop an other to sell a different product which maybe includes some elements of other not competitor products (copyrighted or no).

Some other problems occur when people they start to try to register as patents, basic things which they demand almost no mental afford to produce.
So if they register basic things which aren't even part of real products and after that they start demand from advanced products which they aren't even competitive to their, to pay them for copyright infringement then that is something VERY toxic for the economy and for innovation.

ps: I think Epic just pay for that anethical decision to sue that pure youtuber kid before few months.
 

MonsterZero

TS Evangelist
Epic can suck a fat one. Maybe they can use all the new found fame to pay off all those legal fees and settlements.
 

Manrubio

TS Rookie
These recent lawsuits against Epic seem to be stupid ( maybe they are) but the truth is that the fornite game would not be as popular as it is today if they had not implemented the dance moves.
The dance moves made the game a lot more popular and that is a fact.

If I create some type of cool handshake and I make it popular and then you make a music video which in great part has more views because of my handshake, I think it is not fair that you make a whole bunch of money based of my stupid creativity . Epic has not even had the courtesy to NAME the dances after the people that made this dance moves popular and even named the dances with their ORIGINAL names.. or even reach out to the people that made the dances POPULAR to say thank you.

It is stupid.. it is just dance moves... but the fact is.. as stupid as they are Epic is using these dance moves in their fornite game and the results are very impresive when it comes to the cash the game brought in during the year.

Hopefully Epic will come to an agreement with the individuals involved in the lawsuit.
 

tellmewhy

TS Rookie
These recent lawsuits against Epic seem to be stupid ( maybe they are) but the truth is that the fornite game would not be as popular as it is today if they had not implemented the dance moves.
The dance moves made the game a lot more popular and that is a fact.

If I create some type of cool handshake and I make it popular and then you make a music video which in great part has more views because of my handshake, I think it is not fair that you make a whole bunch of money based of my stupid creativity . Epic has not even had the courtesy to NAME the dances after the people that made this dance moves popular and even named the dances with their ORIGINAL names.. or even reach out to the people that made the dances POPULAR to say thank you.

It is stupid.. it is just dance moves... but the fact is.. as stupid as they are Epic is using these dance moves in their fornite game and the results are very impresive when it comes to the cash the game brought in during the year.

Hopefully Epic will come to an agreement with the individuals involved in the lawsuit.
In music there is a similar issue between musicians “don’t use the chord progression which I have use” even in life style there is a similar issue between women “don’t wear the same dress which I wear” etc
But all of these are basic things which they demand low mental work which means that the probability that someone else in the past allready has "invent" them, it is very high.

Epic for years has make a lot of work to develop the engine and to design, implement and host the game. It would be very sad after that hard work (and risks) still don’t make some good money.

Somehow they realized that the taunts they are stronger catalyst than what was believed until then and they just went to youtube and pick some taunts they like from normal people and implement them in game.
Some extra money must go to that person who realized that the taunts are a catalyst with greater weight than what they believe until then.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Gotta love their logic
"He is claiming copyright infringement" but then it clearly states
"TMZ reports that while BlocBoy JB hadn’t registered a copyright on the dance when Fortnite starting using it, he is currently in the process of “locking it down,” according to the site.
So he is suing for copyright infringement when he has no copyright....makes perfect sense! And the lawyers had no problem taking his case.
The original artist may back-file a copyright at any time, even post infringement, so long as they can prove they were actually the originator of the content.

Filing a basic copyright costs money and takes a fair bit of time, doing it right (a la lawyer) takes a lot of money and even more time. It just isn't feasible to copyright everything you produce unless you are already a successful corporation that has the time, money, lawyers, and a pretty good certainty that people will copy your work. So the USCO allows people to back-file copyrights and trademarks. This is becoming more and more common with the advent of the internet. Amateur artists - photographers, videographers, musicians, painters, drawers, etc - will frequently put up new original work, and occasionally their work will get stolen or copied by a large corporation that popularizes the work. This gives the small artist a way to enforce their IP, now that it is worth their time and money to do so.

tl;dr - just because content is available publicly online does not mean it is a part of the public domain. Unless released under one of the many public domain licenses (Creative Commons being popular), you should always assume that it is protected content, because the USCO allows artists to back-date things to the point of creation when filing a copyright, and not just until the date of filing.
 
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