Fortnite ruling could cut short dance moves in videogames


Marisa Woutersen

Fortnite ruling could cut short dance moves in videogames

Pryimak Anastasiia /

The blockbuster’s copyright setback has positive implications for dance choreographers, whose ‘emotes’ have become part of videogame lore, finds Marisa Woutersen.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reversed a district court's decision to dismiss a copyright infringement case revolving around allegations of copyright infringement of choreography.

The case, Kyle Hanagami v Epic Games, concerns the dance moves featured in their widely played game Fortnite, and questions whether the choreography used in the game is eligible for copyright protection. 

Hanagami contended that Epic Games had infringed the copyright of his choreographic work by creating and selling a virtual animation, referred to as an emote, which incorporated elements of his registered choreography.

US Court of Appeals, copyright, Fortnite, Kyle Hanagami v. Epic Games, Epic Games, Dorsey & Whitney, Saul Ewing, US, third-person shooter, emotes