'Fortnite' Legal Dance Battles Paused Following Supreme Court Ruling

Fortnite Epic Games- Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Epic Games

Fresh Prince star Alfonso Ribeiro has dropped his lawsuit against Epic Games over its use of the Carlton dance in Fortnite, but it's merely a logistical pause of the proceedings.

The move comes days after the U.S. Supreme Court held in a unanimous decision that under the Copyright Act, a plaintiff can't sue for copyright infringement until the U.S. Copyright Office has either granted or refused the person's application for registration.

The U.S. Copyright office in February declined to register the Carlton dance, finding it to be merely a "simple dance routine." Ribeiro had sued Epic Games in December.

Rapper 2 Milly, born Terrence Ferguson, on Thursday also dropped his lawsuit against Epic over its use of his moves, as did internet phenoms Backpack Kid and Orange Shirt Kid. All four voluntary dismissals were without prejudice and can be refiled. 

The plaintiffs are each represented by Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hect, which confirmed the moves were purely procedural. 

"We will continue to vigorously fight for our clients' rights against those who wrongly take their creations without permission and without compensation," attorney David Hecht told The Hollywood Reporter via email.