SALT LAKE CITY — The rapper BlocBoy JB, whose real name is James Baker, filed a lawsuit against Epic Games and “Fortnite” for using one of the rapper’s dance moves in the battle royale mode of the game.
What happened: The lawsuit alleges that the in-game emote — or dance move — called “Hype” is a direct rip-off of the “Shoot” dance that BlocBoy performs.
- Baker asked his Twitter followers if he should sue Epic Games after a number of other celebrities — like rapper 2 Milly, The Backpack Kid Russell Horning, and Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) — have all sued Epic Games in recent months accusing the company of stealing their dance moves.
- “I just don’t think it’s fair what Epic is doing,” BlocBoy JB said in a press release. ”I started the dance and made it popular through my music. Epic didn’t ask me if they could put it in Fortnite.”
- Baker is alleging copyright infringement, violation of the right to publicity for profiting off his likeness, and trademark infringement, according to the lawsuit.
However: According to The Verge, it remains unclear if Baker attained the copyright or trademark rights to the dance.
Connections: Baker’s lawyer is David L. Hecht, who is working with 2 Milly and the Backpack Kid for their own lawsuits.
“That is exactly the type of cultural misappropriation that other rappers have called Epic out on and we are seeking to remedy with this case,” Hecht said, according to The Verge.