Fortnite Dance animation… an explanation of the offense

Rotoscoping is the process of taking film and transferring the movement to either 2d or 3d animation. There are a few famous examples of it. You have the animation in the Prince of Persia which was literally the creators brother jumping around in the back yard and you have the uncanny animation in the cinematic platform game Flashback.

Rotoscoping was also used 1 to 1 transfer famous dances from movies and TV into The World of Warcraft years before fortnite. Nobody disputed that this is how it was done, but nobody really profited off it either. Dancing is really a small portion of what made World of Warcraft a good or enjoyable game.

The problem with Fortnite, is that it directly profits of dancing by selling the dance moves for V-bucks. This currently equates to $8 million a day on the high end. That is a lot of money profiting off the creativity and performance of others. This is why people have a problem with Fortnite.

Odds are, if Fortnite had never charged for dancing, there never would have been a lawsuit. Even still, if they had provided some kind of acknowledgement to the creators, many would have seen that as sufficient.

The problem isn’t just huge stars like 2 Milly or cultural touchstones like Alfonso Ribeiro’s Cartlon Dance, (labeled as “fresh” in Fortnite), but also harms small creators like Nathan Barnatt and his “No Bones” Dance which rose to popularity on the Dance Channel DanceOn, with 5 million hits, which is called Boneless in fortnight. Nathan is a small creator and could use the promotion or dare I say, the profit from the exposure.

It isn’t that Epic used the same dance moves. It isn’t even that they are profiting off the dances, (ok, it is that, but it could have been avoided), it is that Epic Carbon copy replicated these steps from their creators. Think of it like manual motion capture. That intent, makes the situation equivalent to theft, theft which we might not actually have a law to regulate at the moment.

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