The Fortnite video game uses rapper 2 Milly’s popular Milly Rock dance without his permission, according to a new complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Fortnite in-game avatars have the ability to perform “emotes,” or particular movements, at the prompting of the gamer controlling them. The Season 5 Battle Pass, released July 2018, contained the Swipe It emote, which 2 Milly said is coded to look identical to the Milly Rock dance.
The “Milly Rock” was created by 2 Milly, whose legal name is Terrence Ferguson, in 2014, he said. Other famous dances are available as emotes on the game, and the Milly Rock was specifically asked for on Fortnite forums, he said.
The Swipe It emote is offered as both a game reward and for direct purchase for 500 V-bucks, the in-game money system.
2 Milly claims that his copyright for the Milly Rock has been infringed, as has his right to control his own likeness and publicity.
Fortnite is produced and sold by Epic Games Inc. Epic Games didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment.
Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP represent Ferguson.
The case is Ferguson v. Epic Games, Inc., C.D. Cal., No. 2:18-cv-10110, complaint filed 12/5/18.