The judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by two former Maryland University basketball players in which they accused the makers of popular game ‘Fortnite’ of misappropriating a dance move they helped popularize originally.
U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm in Maryland ruled on Friday that the Copyright Act preempts claims that Jared Nickens and Jaylen Brantley filed in February 2019 against Epic Games Inc., creator of the wildly popular online shooting game was dismissed.
Nickens and Brantley claimed that the North Carolina based company digitally copied their ‘running man challenge’ dance which they has performed in many social media videos and also on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ in 2016.
On the show thy appeared alongside two New Jersey high school students who were posting videos of the dance online before them. Brantley told Ellen that Nickens first showed him the dance in a video on Instagram.
He said, “We dance every day for our teammates in the locker room. We were like, ‘Hey, let’s make a video and make everybody laugh’.”
In his judgement, the judge wrote, “Plaintiffs seek to place the same square peg into eight round holes in search of a cause of action against Epic Games for its use of the Running Man dance in its game Fortnite. But Plaintiffs’ claims that Epic Games copied the dance do not support any of their theories.”