Epic Games has been hit with a number of lawsuits at this point over several of the emotes featured in its free-to-play battle royale game Fortnite, but the latest person to accuse Epic Games of using their likeness or dance moves without permission is taking a slightly different legal approach.
According to the Verge, the musician Leo Pellegrino has filed a lawsuit against Epic Games that accuses the company of misappropriating his likeness for the game’s "Phone It In" emote.
Pellegrino is represented by the same law firm representing many of the other artists that have taken a legal stab at Epic Games since Fortnite rose to popularity. While those past cases focused on copyright infringement over the use of certain dance moves, Pellegrino is arguing that Epic’s use of his “trademark moves [that] have become inseparable from his persona and his life story” makes this a case of using his likeness without permission or compensation rather than copyright infringement.
As the Verge points out, it's likely a legal strategy intended to get around some of the roadblocks faced by the murky business of copywriting dance moves that have held up similar cases filed by Alfonso Ribeiro, 2 Milly, and others.