A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit in which two former University of Maryland men’s basketball players accused the makers of the Fortnite video game of misusing a dance move that popularized ex-teammates.
US District Judge Paul Grimm in Maryland ruled on Friday that the Copyright Act pre-claimed that Jared Nickens and Jaylen Brentley filed suit in February 2019 Epic game, Creator of the wildly popular online shooting game.
Nickens and Brentley claimed Carrie, the North Carolina-based company, falsified her identity by mimicking the “Running Man Challenge” dance, which she did in 2016 on social media videos and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”.
His copyright infringement lawsuit claimed that the “running man” dance is “emot” Fortnite Nickens and Brentley take credit for creating a dance that players can buy for their characters.
The judge said the important question is whether the plaintiff claims that the copyright is “qualitatively different” than the rights protected by the Act.
“And here the plaintiff’s claim is based on Epic Games allegedly ‘capturing and digitizing copying’ which makes the running man dance to make Fortnite that ‘the player’s avatars are executed similarly to the running man’s version of the plaintiff Allows to do. ” Rights protected by the Copyright Act, ”he wrote.
Mass Brentley of Springfield, and Nickens of Monmouth Junction, NJ, were seeking more than $ 5 million (about Rs 37 crore) in damages.
Epic Games spokesman Nick Chester on Monday declined to comment on the judge’s ruling.
The festive dance at Fortnite is called “Emotions”. While the game itself is free to play, players can purchase “expressions” and other character customizations.
Other artists, including Brooklyn-based rapper 2 Milli and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Alfonso Ribeiro, have also sued Epic Games over other dances featured in the shooting game. Ribeiro dropped his lawsuit against Epic Games last year, when the US Copyright Office denied him copyright for the “Carlton” dance that his character did on the 1990s sitcom.
Niekens and Brentley appeared on a Deganners talk show with two New Jersey high school students, posting videos of the dance before two University of Maryland basketball players filmed their own version. Brentley told DeGeners that Nickens first showed him dancing in a video on Instagram.
“We dance every day to our teammates in the locker room,” Brentley said. “We were like, Hey, let’s make a video and make everyone laugh.”
The judge rejected her lawsuit claims for confidentiality, unfair competition and unjust enrichment based on pre-emption under copyright law. He accused his trademark claims and claims of unfair competition and “false designation of origin” under the Langham Act.
“The plaintiffs want to use the running man dance in their game Fortnite to put the same square peg in the eight goal hole due to action against Epic Games. But the plaintiff’s claim that Epic Games copied the dance does not support his theories.
The plaintiff’s attorney, Richard Jaclicsch, said his client may not be able to bear the costs of appealing the judge’s ruling. He said it seems “un-American” for the company to “profit from the backs of Nickens and Brentley”.
“Epic can still step up and do the right thing. The epic can still step up and accept what these children did, ”he said.
According to Jakitsch, Nikens was playing professional basketball in Canada and working as a Brentley sports agent.
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