Epic Games is dealing with yet another lawsuit over the inclusion of popular dances in Fortnite without permission from its originator. Two former players from the University of Maryland men's basketball team filed the suit Monday, accusing Epic of copyright infringement and violating their publicity rights, The Verge reports. They also claim the publisher "consistently sought to exploit African-American talent, in particular in Fortnite, by copying their dances and movement."
Jaylen Brantley and Jared Nickens allege that they created the "Running Man" dance through the "Running Man Challenge," which landed them on The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2016. Brantley and Nickens claim they became "synonymous" with the dance, and assert that Epic shouldn't be copying it, or creating a nearly identical emote without receiving their permission or offering compensation.
Where Brantley and Nickens' argument will probably fall short is in the claim that they created the "Running Man" dance. These two actually took the move from two high schoolers named Kevin Vincent and Jerry Hall, who also appeared on that same Ellen segment.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Brantley recalls the moment when he came across the dance, and approached Nickens about creating the video which would later become the Running Man Challenge. "Jared [Nickens] came up to me and was like, hey, let me show you something. Some kid he knew from Jersey was doing the dance to that song," he said. "We were like hey let’s just make a funny video and try to make people laugh."