All plaintiffs who have filed suit with Epic Games over the use of their “trademark” dances in battle royale title Fortnite have been forced to drop their lawsuits, temporarily at least, following a new ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling (Fourth Estate Pub. Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC) essentially prevents any individual from suing for Copyright Infringement if the work in question has not been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Thus, plaintiffs such as hip-shop artist 2 Milly – along with meme stars such as “Backpack Kid” and “Orange Shirt Kid” – have been forced to withdraw their respective lawsuits until they can get their dances officially registered.
Of course, Fresh Prince star Alfonso Ribeiro has already attempted to do this, and had his copyright refused on the grounds that his crowd-pleasing move is a “simple dance routine” and does not qualify for legal ownership. Should the aforementioned dancers suffer the same roadblock, then they still have the right to sue, but would find themselves lacking ammo for the ensuing legal battle. It’s hard to fight for copyright infringement when you’ve been refused copyright.
Ribeiro, 2 Milly, Backpack Kid and Orange Shirt Kid are all represented by the same legal firm, Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, who intend to pursue all of the lawsuits once copyright has been sought.