Epic Games files complaint against accusation of stealing Dancing Pumpkin Man

Via Epic Games

Interestingly, the suit also states that Geiler can not claim that Epic is using his likeness without authorization, because Geiler "already granted Epic Games a license to the 'character, ' the Video, and the content therein".

According to The Verge, the Fortnite maker has sought a preemptive ruling after it lodged a complaint against Matt Geiler - also known as the Dancing Pumpkin Man.

Fortnite developer Epic Games is involved in a new legal tussle over one of the game's emotes, but in something of a twist, the studio is suing the dancer, rather than the other way around.

Fortnite's event Fortnitemares naturally went with their standard Halloween cosmetics but it was the Pump It Up emote that's in the spotlight here, as the dance is followed with the avatar's head turning into a jack-o-lantern.

However, despite being issued with the cease-and-desist, Epic hit back with a counter-complaint of their own.

From Epic's side, they further claim that Geiler had no right to the now-viral character because he created the costume from "preexisting, third-party Halloween Jack-O-Lantern decorations from his company's holiday lobby display". Epic Games has also given a list of every character who has a pumpkin head to prove that Sick Picnic's character is not unique.

Epic Games is asking courts to ignore Geiler's case, essentially meaning the lawsuit could be killed before it even jumps out the Battle Bus. In the decade or more since, Geiler's original dance has become part of the weird world of internet video from before Youtube made it big. As noted by Polygon, Geiler himself has previously confirmed this in a Facebook comment and a MEL Magazine story.

Geiler's company Picnic Media ended up sending Epic a cease and desist order, insisting that Fortnite used his character's likeness without his permission, threating the company with a lawsuit.

This isn't the first time that Epic has had to two-step its way into court over allegedly stolen moves.



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