‘Milly Rock’ creator wants gaming company behind Fortnite to pay up
The creator of the dance craze and hit song Milly Rock has slapped the company behind a popular video game for stealing his moves to give characters swag.
Brooklyn rapper Terrence Ferguson, better known by his stage name, 2 Milly, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in Central California District Court against Epic Games Inc. for using the dance in its video game Fortnite Battle Royale.
The dance appeared in Ferguson’s music video for his song “Milly Rock,” which was filmed on various blocks of his home borough, including the corners of Gates and Patchen avenues. But the Milly Rock dance that quickly went viral was actually created in 2011, by Ferguson and, his friends and rap group Stack Paper.
“Epic [Games Inc.] has unfairly profited from exploiting Ferguson’s protected creative expression and likeness,” claim Ferguson’s attorneys in court documents filed on Wednesday.
The gaming company is accused of capitalizing on the popularity of the Milly Rock and renaming it “Swipe It” for the Fortnite franchise that was released in September 2017. The dance is performed in the game after gamers use virtual currency called “V-Bucks” to pay to customize their character.
There is a very real price for the virtual currency, ranging from $9.99 to $99.99, depending on which of the game’s four tiers the player has chosen.
“Fortnite derives its sales exclusively through these types of in-game purchases. Epic should not be able to profit from Ferguson’s fame and hard work by its intentional misappropriation of Ferguson’s original content or likeness,” the court documents read.
Fortnite made more than $318 million in May. Ferguson has not received any profit.
The original YouTube video has over 18 million views and caught the attention of celebrities like Beyonce and Chris Brown, as well as everyday people.
Ferguson has said in interviews that he did not approve Epic Games Inc. using his moves.
This is not the first time that the North Carolina-based gaming company has been accused of copying popular dance moves from black entertainers without consent or compensation, according to the lawsuit.
The dance from the 2004 Snoop Dogg music video, Drop It Like It’s Hot was used in Fortnite under the name “Tidy,” Alfonso Ribeiro’s performance of his famous “Carlton” dance on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air television show is called “Fresh” and Donald Faison’s signature dance seen on the NBC television show Scrubs is known as “Dance Moves” in the game, the lawsuit alleges.
Request for comment from Epic Games Inc. was not immediately received.