05:27, January 17 200 0 theguardian.com

2019-01-17 05:27:08
Dances removed from Forza Horizon in wake of Fortnite copyright claims

Two dance moves that are the subject of lawsuits in the US have been removed from the driving game Forza Horizon 4.

The moves were among a series of dance “emotes” included in the latest instalment of the Forza Horizon series, after the huge popularity of similar dances in Fortnite.

However, in December, Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, was hit with a series of lawsuits alleging copyright infringement on three dances in the game. Among these were the Floss and the Carlton Dance (said to be known in Fortnite as “Fresh”) – the two dances that have been removed from Forza Horizon 4.

Four artists have now filed copyright infringement actions against Epic. Russell Horning, known online as the Backpack Kid, claims to have invented the Floss move, which has become a phenomenon since it was included in Fortnite. Meanwhile, rapper 2 Milly claims his Milly Rock dance has been copied in the game, and Alfonso Ribeiro claims he created the Carlton Dance for an episode of the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. On Monday, a fourth lawsuit was launched, this time from the mother of Fortnite fan Orange Shirt Kid, whose Orange Justice dance is included in the game.

Copyright infringement lawsuits around dances and dance moves are difficult to prove. Although in US law, choreography is protected under the 1976 Copyright Act, plaintiffs have to show that they originated not only a single move but a series of moves in a complex sequence, and must provide proof in video form. There is already ambiguity over the origins of both the Floss and the Carlton dances, with evidence suggesting they may have been performed earlier by other dancers, the former in a YouTube video from 2012 and the latter in a Bruce Springsteen video.

Forza Horizon creator Playground Games has not explained why the dances have been removed. The decision was announced on the game’s official website along with a series of other alterations and updates. The rest of the game’s dancing emotes, unusual additions in a driving game, are unaffected.

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