Epic Games is being taken to court by the mother of the Orange Shirt kid who filed a suit over the popular in-game emote on January 11.
Epic Games are facing suits from multiple plaintiffs who claim their work is being profited and improperly used by the popular battle royale, that includes actor Alfonso Ribeiro, rapper 2 Milly, and one-time viral figure known as the Backpack Kid.
Now, Rachel McCumbers has filed an action on behalf of her minor son against the North Carolina game company for “unfairly [profiting] from exploiting Orange Shirt Kid’s protected creative expression, likeness, and trademark without consent or authorization,” according to the lawsuit’s documents.
The Orange Shirt Kid’s Orange Justice dance was famously added to the game after losing Fortnite’s Boogiedown Contest only for the game’s community to rally enough for the developers to include the submission as a new emote.
However, after much acclaim and virality, the dance has taken off to become one of the most recognizable moves from the game.
The claim suggests the company infringed on and exploited the creative works of the Orange Shirt Kid’s dance, which resulted in Epic Games amassing incredible profits from the dance.
Although the Boogiedown Contest specified that contestants would “not be specifically paid” for their submissions, the Plaintiff will still seek damages from the success that the game enjoyed in the month following Orange Justice’s inclusion.
Like the other claims, the suit might be tricky for the Plaintiff to navigate due to the subjective nature of copyrighting a dance, but that won’t stop either party from proving their side of the story.