The struggle of Fortnite when it comes to dance lawsuits is still making waves across the internet and gaming community. However, the only difference is that Epic, the publisher of Fortnite, is going to strike first. On the 30th of October 2019, Matthew Geiler, who is popularly regarded as the world’s first-ever Dancing Pumpkin Man, made the first move against the creator of Fortnite.
According to Sick Picnic Media, the creative consulting company of Dancing Pumpkin Man came forward with a cease-and-desist letter to Epic Games. By the looks of it, Matthew Geiler threatened to provide a lawsuit concerning the Pump It Up emote of the game. Soon after, Epic responded to the letter by filing a preemptive complaint where the publisher is seeking a ruling of the judge on the matter.
On the 9th of December 2019, Epic reportedly filed a complaint right against Sick Picnic Media and Geiler by stating that Dancing Pumpkin Man isn’t one of the trademark characters. So, Matthew Geiler doesn’t have any right to enforce a cease-and-desist letter. With the help of Pump, It Up emotes, the heads of the players transform into a pumpkin with flames, and it dances like Geiler. In addition to this, the players were allowed to purchase the emote during the Fortnitemares event of 2019.
Epic is the damsel in distress:
It seems like a complaint by Epic is a direct threat to Geiler’s claim. The filing by Epic suggests that the publisher will take Geiler to court if he and Sick Picnic Media do not retract the cease-and-desist case. According to one of the Facebook comments, Geiler has a license agreement with Fortnite’s publisher. However, Sick Picnic Media and Geiler later asked Epic to stop using the likeness of Dancing Pumpkin Man. The letter indicates that Geiler is prepared to take necessary actions for protecting the character of Dancing Pumpkin Man.
One of the representatives of Epic told Polygon that it is not going to comment on the litigation. In addition to this, neither Sick Picnic Media nor Geiler did respond before the time of publication.
Currently, Epic is using legal weight while it attempts to decimating the entirety of Dancing Pumpkin Man. In the fourth section of the complaint, the lawyers of Epic claim that the creation of the video of Dancing Pumpkin Man in the game isn’t created initially. The complaint also states that Geiler didn’t generate the pumpkin mask and leotard, and he also didn’t compose the song which he is seen dancing in the video.
Epic is playing a smart game
The publisher is flexing its strength in terms of the allegations section, where it is telling the entirety of different forms of pumpkin heads and characters. According to Epic, the character created by Geiler is not original.
Epic actively wants a judge to say that Geiler is not entitled to put forward a legal suit. If both Sick Picnic Media & Geiler do not retract the case, then the studio would make a suit against Geiler even before Geiler sues Epic. By the looks of it, this is not the first time that Epic is involved in a legal battle concerning in-game dance.