Since Terrence Ferguson, aka rapper 2 Milly, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against game developer Epic Games last month, the debate surrounding copying a real-life dance move and turning it into a virtual good for sale has become a legal quagmire. Numerous other social media stars and celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon, including Fresh Prince actor Alfonso Ribeiro, aspiring hip-hop artist and floss dancer Backpack Kid, and most recently Orange Shirt Kid of viral YouTube fame.
Now, game developers are even pulling the dances from current titles, afraid of the potential legal risk. In the long term, the lawsuits may have a profound impact on both copyright law and the games industry. The cases could dictate whether dance moves constitute as protected works of choreography as well as whether game developers are liable for ripping them from pop culture as a way to earn money and stay relevant with fast-moving teenage audiences.
It’s still bad news for dance lawsuits
Epic filed a legal complaint defending itself
Leo Pellegrino claims Epic misappropriated his likeness with the popular Phone It In emote
They should be refiled after the Copyright Office weighs in
Copyrighting dance steps isn’t a good idea
Two basketball players say they’re “synonymous” with the dance
Impersonator asked Copyright Office to drop ‘wreckless’ claims
Alfonso Ribeiro’s dance might be too simple to copyright
Joining a growing list of artists and celebrities
Dance emotes are becoming legal risks
Who owns the Milly Rock?
The debate around copyright and dance moves gets more complicated