As of late, Epic Games has found itself embroiled in several legal cases after numerous individuals have filed lawsuits against the video game developer over its use of different dances in the worldwide phenomenon, Fortnite Battle Royale. Now, the mother of Orange Shirt Kid is the latest plaintiff to come forward in this string of lawsuits, as she has decided to take legal action against the company for its use of her son's dance in the game and dubbing it Orange Justice.
Filed last week by Pierce BainBridge Beck Price & Hecht on behalf of Orange Shirt Kid and his mother, Rachel McCumbers, the lawsuit accuses Epic Games of copyright infringement for using Orange Shirt Kid’s signature dance move “the Random” in Fortnite as Orange Justice. According to the suit, after the Random gained popularity, players started a campaign to encourage Epic to incorporate the dance by Orange Shirt Kid into Fortnite. What's more is that the suit also mentions that the child was the victim of “extreme cyber bullying”, forcing him to deactivate both his Instagram and YouTube accounts, and he "has only recently reactivated them".
For those unaware, Epic Games hosted a Boogiedown contest for Fortnite last year, asking the community to submit their ideas for dances so that they might be included in the game. While Orange Shirt Kid's submission initially didn’t make the cut, a huge number of players petitioned Epic to include the boy's moves in the game. Eventually, Orange Shirt Kid's signature dance was added through the introduction of the Orange Justice emote.
In the official rules for the aforementioned contest, Epic explained that players who decided to submit their dances would not be paid for the use of selected dance moves, and also stated that it reserved the right to "display the Submission in any and all media throughout the world". It's worth noting that Orange Justice was never actually sold, but instead given away as part of the free Battle Pass of Season 4, making the emote unlockable by playing, and not through purchase. What's more is that Orange Shirt Kid actually celebrated the dance's inclusion in the game in several now-deleted tweets.
Interestingly enough, the lawsuit makes no mention of the Boogiedown contest or Orange Shirt Kid's tweets. Instead, McCumbers says that her son “exploded in popularity in or around early 2018, after he made a video of himself performing the Random and the accompanying Catchphrase.” McCumbers is seeking unspecified damages with this lawsuit against the Fortnite creator, Epic Games.
As it so happens, Pierce BainBridge Beck Price & Hecht is the same law firm that filed complaints against Epic with 2 Milly, Alfonso Ribeiro, and Backpack Kid for the use of their dance moves in Fortnite. As of now, it's currently up for debate as to who could win these dance lawsuits, as they have yet to be resolved.
Fortnite is available now in early access for Android, iOS, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One.