Fortnite Dance Lawsuit Dismissed By US Judge

Published: August 29, 2022 11:35 AM /


A Fortnite trailer screenshot showcasing a diving character.

The Fortnite dance lawsuit brought forward by choreographer Kyle Hanagami against Epic Games back in March has been dismissed by a judge. Hanagami alleged that Epic Games "unfairly profited from exploiting [his] registered choreography", which refers specifically to his "It's Complicated" dance. Hanagami sought to stop Epic Games from "using, selling, or displaying" the dance in Fortnite, and he also sought an award for punitive and/or exemplary damages along with other costs and fees.

Why was this Fortnite dance lawsuit dismissed?

You'd think that after alleging this, Hanagami would have some serious evidence to help his case. Well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and if you want to see how close the two dances really are, you can check out this video uploaded by his lawyer. Here's a screenshot to show just how similar the poses in both dances are.

A screenshot from a YouTube video alleging similarities between the Fortnite dance and Hanagami's choreography.
Looks pretty similar to me! Credit: David Hecht.

As you can see, the dances are very similar to say the least. You'd think that the case wouldn't be dismissed when you're watching the video. However, Judge Stephen V. Wilson from the Central District of California begged to differ, stating that the two works "do not share enough creative elements for Fortnite’s emote to constitute infringement". This seems wild considering how similar the two dances are, but hey, I'm no legal or dance expert.

What is with the Fortnite dance lawsuits?

This isn't the first time that Epic Games has been accused of stealing dances. The company was sued back in 2019 by musician Leo Pellegrino, who alleged that they used his likeness when creating the "Phone It In" dance emote in Fortnite. There was also another lawsuit brought forward by The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro over his "Carlton" dance. Apparently, there are quite a few dances that Epic Games has been influenced by, and we'll have to see if there are more Fortnite dance lawsuits to come. Can't they just dance it out? Probably not, but it would be a lot more entertaining at least.

Thanks, PCGamesN.

For more information on Fortnite, any other Fortnite dance lawsuits, and everything in between, stay tuned to TechRaptor.


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