Can you copyright a dance move? Rapper 2Milly, whose 2015 hit “Milly Rock” spawned a popular dance of the same name is hoping that the answer is yes; the thirty-year-old Brooklyn rapper, whose real name is Terrence Ferguson, took legal action against Epic Games, makers of staggeringly popular third-person shooter Fortnite for “misappropriating the ‘Milly Rock.'”
Fortnite‘s “Swipe It” dance for comparison:
From the official press release, via Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP:
New York, NY – Brooklyn rapper 2 Milly has engaged Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP (“Pierce Bainbridge”) to pursue claims against Epic Games, Inc. (“Epic”) over its misappropriation, use and sale of 2 Milly’s signature “Milly Rock” as downloadable content in its popular video game, Fortnite. The “Milly Rock” was featured in 2 Milly’s breakthrough video, also named “Milly Rock,” in 2014.
“I was never compensated by Epic Games for their use of the ‘Milly Rock,’ Ferguson added. “They never even asked for my permission. I am thrilled to have David Hecht and his team at Pierce Bainbridge representing me to help right this wrong.”
Since its launch in September 2017, Fortnite has earned Epic Games over $1 billion in revenue; dance moves like the “Swipe It” (based on the “Milly Rock”) can be purchased by players to add to their characters’ emote repertoire.
Epic Games has refused to comment at this time.
Should Epic Games have to compensate 2Milly for “misappropriating” the Milly Rock? Let us know in the comments.