Epic Games seems to be in trouble from all sides these days. Numerous celebrities are in the process of suing the company for the use of copyrighted material without permission or royalties.
Instagram star Backpack Kid, whose real name is Russell Horning, is just the latest celebrity to join the trend, per a report by Comic Book. Horning is suing the company for their use of the Floss Dance in Fortnite, in an expansion that is no longer available. The dance, made popular by the teenager after he stole the show on Saturday Night Live where he performed the dance for the first time alongside Katy Perry, appears in the Season 2 Battle Pass but was only available through the Premium Battle Pass which players had to buy.
The emote is called “Floss,” and mimics Horning’s movements exactly, and even bears a striking resemblance to him.
Because the company has specifically been making money off Horning’s dance, his mother and attorneys have decided to file a complaint against Epic Games. As yet it hasn’t been publicly shared what Backpack Kid and his legal representation are after in their lawsuit, but the 16-year-old is said to be in the process of getting copyright for the dance.
the wrinkle in the backpack kid v epic lawsuit is uuuuuuhh backpack kid literally participated in a fortnite promotional event pic.twitter.com/ZSxBjFxM9H— brian feldman (@bafeldman) December 18, 2018
Photos of the complaint shown above detail that Epic Games “profited from its improper misappropriation of the Floss and Backpack Kid’s likeness” through various means, including selling the Floss emote and “impliedly representing that Backpack Kid consented to Epic’s use of his likeness.”
As reported by TMZ, Horning feels that he himself is “just a kid” and not actually in it for the money, so he has left the legal side of things to his mother and his lawyer. For him, he is more interested in having people watching his videos than getting compensation from them to do so. While he would prefer that Epic Games does pay to use his dance, he’s said that it’s “not that big of a deal” and that he’s “glad it’s in the game.”
Horning has another lawsuit against 2K Sports, which makes NBA 2K, which he alleges also made use of the dance without his permission.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro is also currently suing Epic Games for making use of his swinging dance move, “The Carlton.” According to his lawsuit, the company also used his likeness in Fortnite for their “Fresh” emote.