Backpack Kid has become the latest celebrity, or micro-celebrity, to file a lawsuit against Epic Games for co-opting his “Floss” dance in Fortnite. He’s also suing 2K Sports, for using the dance move in NBA 2K.
The news, which comes from TMZ, follows a report on Monday that Fresh Prince star Alfonso Ribeiro was also suing the two companies for appropriating the Carlton Dance. Rapper 2Milly filed a lawsuit against Epic Games earlier this month for allegedly stealing the Milly Rock.
Backpack Kid filed the suit with the help of his mom, since he’s only 16. His signature dance move blew up after he posted videos of himself doing it on Instagram.
Fortnite’s Season 2 Battle Pass, released in December of 2017, allows players to get the emote dubbed “The Floss,” which is also what Backpack Kid called his dance. The teen is suing for unspecified damages and wants a judge to stop the companies from stealing his moves.
These cases are difficult to argue, because copyrights on dance moves are tricky, especially if they are related to some sort of viral sensation. Both 2Milly and Ribeiro are in the process of filing copyrights on their respective dance moves, but it’s unclear if they will be approved.The U.S. Copyright Office discourages the registration of "social dance steps and simple routines,” however many people recognize both Backpack Kid and Ribeiro as the original creators of their dance moves.