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Backpack Kid Russell Horning, creator of the Floss dance, becomes the latest to sue Fortnite


Posted

December 19, 2018 14:03:26

First it was the Milly Rock. Then it was the Carlton. Now the teen who made the “Floss” popular is suing the creators of Fortnite for using his dance.

Key points:

  • The Backpack kids has joined a lawsuit suing the creators of Fortnite
  • His creation, the Floss, is arguably the game’s most popular dance
  • Other creators have been left unhappy with their dances being used in the game

The Backpack Kid, aka American teenager Russell Horning, is joining the lawsuit launched by rapper 2 Milly and actor Alfonso Ribeiro, the firm representing the trio told Variety.

“The Floss is now inextricably linked to Backpack Kid and has continued to be a part of his celebrity persona,” the lawsuit claims.

Horning posted on his Instagram account, saying he was leaving “the other stuff to the adults and management”.

The complaints echo those from the suit involving actor Alfonso Ribeiro, which said Epic Games (the creators of Fortnite) “earned record profits off of downloadable content in the game” and “failed to compensate or even ask permission from Mr Ribeiro for the use of his likeness and iconic intellectual property”.

An Epic Games spokesman told Variety the company does not comment on ongoing litigation.

In Fortnite, players can earn cosmetic items — like the Floss dance — through regular play. But they can also spend money to purchase them on demand.

SuperData Research shows Fortnite made $318 million from selling the cosmetic items in May alone.

The Floss is arguably Fortnite’s most popular dance

The move featured in hundreds of “how to” dance videos as Fortnite rose to become the world’s most popular videogame in 2018.

Horning has been performing the dance on his Instagram account since 2016.

But it was after Katy Perry invited him on stage during a Saturday Night Live performance in May 2017 that Horning became a viral star.

The dance was added to Fornite as the Floss about six months later.

Horning has been more involved with Epic Games and Fortnite than rapper 2 Milly and Ribeiro.

He played in the official Fortnite Pro Am event in June and reportedly told TMZ at the time that being included in the game was “not that big of a deal, I’m just glad that it’s in the game”.

Backpack Kid might not be the last to sue Epic Games

Another dance added to Fortnite this year was dubbed the “Boneless”.

It was created by YouTube personality Nathan Barnatt almost a decade ago, who called it the “No Bones” dance.

Responding to a comment on Reddit about Fortnite dances yesterday, Barnatt claimed Fornite had set up the “perfect scam”.

“I’m technically not allowed to talk about my situation now. I wish I could say what went down. I do know that Fortnite has set up a perfect scam. Super grey area stuff. But you CAN copyright a dance/choreography. Everyone on the Internet says you can’t but you can. Unfortunately most of these dances are not long enough to get a copyright. Even Carlton’s,” he wrote.

The default dance move in Fortnite is based off a dance performed by actor Donald Faison in the sitcom Scrubs.

When he was asked about the dance appearing in Fortnite by Vulture earlier this year, Faison said:

“I didn’t get no money. No, I didn’t get no money. I know, that’s what y’all are thinking, right? Somebody got paid. No, no, I did not. Somebody stole that s***. That’s not mine no more.”

Topics:

arts-and-entertainment,

games,

games-industry-professional-gaming,

united-states



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