Epic games is being sued again and this time it’s two former basketball players, Jaylen Brantley and Jared Nickens, suing over the Running Man emote. The law firm representing them claims that Epic has misappropriated the dance which was created and popularised in 2016 by the plaintiffs.
In the lawsuit, they explicitly claim that Brantley and Nickens are the authors and creators of the move:
“Plaintiffs are the undisputed authors and creators of the wildly popular and immediately recognizable Running Man dance. Plaintiffs’ videos are the original depictions of the Running Man dance.”
Brantley and Nickens did get a lot of attention for the dance that they claim is synonymous with them, but the matter is more complicated than that. The origins of the Running Man challenge and even the dance move itself have been traced further back from them, leaving to question their “undisputed authors” claim.
The pair has filed for copyright on January 4th, 2019, but it might not even be eligible for the claim. Considering that Alfonso Ribeiro’s application was denied due to a lack of significant authorship and as such couldn’t be considered choreographed work, it’s very possible that the same will happen in the Running Man claim.
We are at the point where you can set your clock to the steady stream of lawsuits against Epic. The only question now is, who is going to be next to try their luck?