There’s a battle royale brewing in the courts, as yet another party is suing Epic Games over its use of a dance in Fortnite. This time, we’re sad to report that it’s Orange Shirt Kid and his “Orange Justice” dance in the spotlight. The mother of the Fortnite player now known as Orange Shirt Kid has contracted the same law firm which has filed suits against Epic Games on behalf of rapper 2 Milly, “Backpack Kid,” and others.
This is one case we don’t expect to stick. In the very first claim, it is stated:
Through its unauthorized misappropriation of Orange Shirt Kid’s highly popular signature dance, the ‘Random,’ along with his well-known catchphrase ‘It’s also a great exercise move!’ (the’Catchphrase’) in its smash-hit, violent video game, Fortnite Battle Royale (‘Fortnite’), Defendants have unfairly profited from exploiting Orange Shirt Kid’s protected creative expression, likeness, and trademark without consent or authorization.
There are a few issues worth noting here. The most obvious issue is that Orange Shirt Kid submitted a video of himself doing the “random” as part of Fortnite‘s “Boogie Down” contest. Applicants submitted their dance moves for the sole purpose of having them included in the game, and the contest language made it very clear that winners would not profit monetarily from their dance moves being included.
What’s more, Orange Shirt Kid’s dance wasn’t chosen as one of the Boogie Down contest winners. It was only after the Fortnite player-base drummed up a massive petition that Epic decided to add the dance into the game, for free, as “Orange Justice.” The dance had to be earned as a free Battle Pass reward and has never been available to purchase for real money.
Hopefully, this doesn’t result in Orange Shirt Kid being subjected to toxicity from the Fortnite community.