Lawsuits brought against Epic Games over in-game emotes has sent fans and curious minds to wonder who has the higher ground in the dispute, but a YouTubing lawyer gave some high-level analysis of the conflict.
Epic Games will get put through a legal grinder over the use of emotes that are frame-by-frame recreations of dances from other people, but before proceedings take place a discerning YouTuber gave his assessment of the dispute and it might give a peek into what’s to come for the developer.
YouTuber LegalEagle broke down possible elements that could be crucial for either side in a video that covered the Fortnite case, and if all signs are correct Epic Games might be in clear waters.
— BlocBoy JB (@BlocBoy_JB) May 2, 2018
LegalEagle got down to brass tacks by explaining what the plaintiffs 2 Milly, Alfonso Ribeiro, and the Backpack Kid will need to prove in order to be able to own their dances.
“A work must be original to its author, and that work must be independently created by the author itself. And it must possess at least some minimal degree of creativity,” he said.
He likened the definition to songs and books that can enjoy copyright protection, but the individual notes or words used to create the entire work cannot be copyrighted.
The biggest question revolves around the popular dances’ legitimacy as a choreographed work thus falling into the protection of copyright.
The law protects these kinds of dances, but does “not include social dance steps and simple routines.” There could be strong efforts aimed at proving or disproving the dances’ validity through this framework, but LegalEagle sides with the defendants that the emotes were based off social dances.
The case is sure to arduous for all sides, but the video provides a lot of insight for those looking to get a better grasp of the issue.