Epic Games have been enjoying the meteoric success of Fortnite, but some of the game’s contents have been the source of potential legal disputes toward the developer.
Epic Games have previously landed in hot water as rapper 2 Milly has entered legal proceedings for Fortnite's inclusion of the 'Milly Rock' dance known as the in-game 'Swipe It' emote.
This time, the inquiry comes from the creator of the viral moth meme, whose photo was likely the inspiration to Fortnite’s addition of the Mothmando skin along with the accompanying pickaxe and glider.
In a Reddit post to the ‘LegalAdvice’ forum, user ‘No_Reason27’ asked about the legalities of Epic Games creating their digital homage to his once-popular meme.
The post has since been deleted, but no before archival bots on the website took a copy of the original text.
“Hi, I’m the guy who posted the original message photo of the moth,” No_Reason27 said, “And I recently learned that Fortnite is making it into a character, and I was wondering, is that legal for them to do? And if so, what should I do to get compensated or them take it down? I already emailed them and I’m waiting on a response.”
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Before deleting the post, a few users chimed in saying there was most likely no way to collect any royalties or expect Epic Games to take the skin down since owning the copyright to an image does not mean owning the copyright to an insect.
According to his post, he had already contacted the developer but received no response at the time of posting.
There is still no word on the outcome or if he has pursued other means of progressing with his complaint.
From movie homages to dances, Fortnite’s Mothmando skin is but one of many examples of Epic Games integrating elements of popular culture into their game.
Many more digital tie-ins to pop-culture are sure to be on their way as Fortnite gears up for the release of Season 7 on December 6.