Fortnite is being sued by Backpack Kid and Alfonso Ribeiro over The Floss and The Carlton Dance

18 December 2018, 15:07 | Updated: 18 December 2018, 15:31

By Sam Prance

Can you copyright a dance? The Fortnite Carlton Dance and The Floss controversy explained...

Fortnite is a huge phenomenon. After being released in 2017, it quickly became one of the most popular online video games of all time and now it has millions of different players worldwide. People cannot get enough of its dramatic purpose (the aim of the game is to fight for your life) or its stunning graphics. However, the hit video game has also caused its fair share of controversy since it came out early last year.

Fortnite is renowned for its in-game emotes. These are dances which the characters do and they've become so famous that many of them are instantly recognisable. However, it looks like some of them may not be original. BlocBoy JB slammed the game for using his 'Shoot Dance', 2 Milly is suing Fortnite for stealing his famous 'Milly Rock' and now Alfonso Ribeiro and Backpack Kid are both suing the game too.

Did Fortnite steal The Carlton Dance and The Floss?

Alfonso Ribeiro is suing Fortnite over The Carlton Dance
Alfonso Ribeiro is suing Fortnite over The Carlton Dance. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire/PA Images // Epic Games

According to TMZ, the beloved Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor Alfonso Ribero is suing Epic Games over 'The Carlton Dance'. Anyone who's ever watched Fresh Prince knows that Alfonso created his character's signature dance move and if you take a look at Fortnite's 'Fresh' emote, the similarities between the two of them are impossible not to miss. Speaking to TMZ, lawyer David Hecht opened up about why Alfonso is suing Epic.

Hecht stated: "It is widely recognized that Mr. Ribeiro’s likeness and intellectual property have been misappropriated by Epic Games in the most popular video game currently in the world, Fortnite. Epic has earned record profits off of downloadable content in the game, including emotes like 'Fresh.' Yet Epic has failed to compensate or even ask permission from Mr. Ribeiro for the use of his likeness and iconic intellectual property."

And Alfonso is not alone. Backpack Kid who rose to international internet fame in 2016 for his dance called 'The Floss' is also suing the company. Fortnite actually has an emote called The Floss, which looks exactly like Backpack Kid's move. TMZ reports that Backpack Kid's mum has now "filed the latest lawsuit on behalf of her 16-year-old kid" and "is suing for unspecified damages" for "ripping off" the dance move.

Check out the remarkable likenesses below.


Can you copyright a dance move? Yes you genuinely can according to Legal Zoom. However "you cannot file a lawsuit for copyright infringement unless you have registered your copyright". TMZ claims that Alfonso and Backpack Kid are both in the process of copyrighting The Carlton Dance and The Floss respectively.

As it stands Epic Games are yet to publicly comment on the lawsuits. We shall update you if they do.

What do you think? Are Epic Games stealing?