Games journalism 2019 - Everything is streaming


WoW dancing was popular. I recall people waiting for new races and wondering what the new dances would be. If you would think it was Not as much time dancing as you are implying, think of the millions of subscribers over a decade+ of dancing, I think that would tally to a few minutes.

Whether it was sold directly or indirectly, it should not make a difference. It was sold.


Right because we change our copyright laws for only truly import things like black and white mice.

If you’re suggesting the WoW players all bought expansions only because the dances were in them and they would not have purchased them without it… I think you’re mistaken, like a lot mistaken. I’m sure raiding had nothing to do with it.


Mice? What are you talking about?

WoW dances were a much smaller deal than Fortnite. You really do hear about little kids doing Fortnite dances.


I don’t know how you can talk about copyright at all and not know what I am talking about since they have been changing our laws every time he comes up.


You mean mickey mouse? Last I heard they are not doing another 20 year extension and copyright will expire in 2024.


More than once it’s been changed, and I’m sure they haven’t given up. Don’t ascribe some reasonable analysis to our copyright laws that doesn’t exist. The reason that keeps changing is largely from the same group that isn’t happy about this.


How do you search prior art for a 5 second dance move? What if they change it subtly, cocking a foot to the left instead of straight, is that covered? Short dances aren’t copywritten for a reason.




When and where did my argument change throughout this conversation? Or are you referring to the 20 year extension? Not sure why a time extension is equivalent to classifying dance as copyrightable.


On the other hand, directly mapping your dances to a source video of another dance–even if it’s not a legal violation–doesn’t feel at all icky to you? Is it not possible that something might be technically infeasible to enforce universally, but that there might be a sort of polite gentlepeople’s agreement around?

I mean, Fortnite more or less exclusively went out and directly copied a bunch of worldwide popular dances; it’s not like they accidentally chanced into recreating 70% of some rando high school dance squad routine that had 11 views on Youtube.


Totally, they should give attribution and even link to their website or YouTube video. That would be a nice thing to do. They’re just under no obligation to do that.


Right, sorry, I may be misattributing arguments, but I could have sworn that someone said “they’re not only legally in the clear, they’re morally in the clear!” and that felt like a bridge too far for me.

I mean I’m also not equating them to EA level evil. Carlton copied, too, dammit! It’s sinners all the way down.


For one thing you didn’t start off with just a legal argument, you also argued morality although all your actual arguments seem to be around copyright laws, and not just copyrights laws but acted like they’re somehow set in stone when they have literally, literally changed, multiple times in just the past handful of decades because these artistic groups lobbied to protect their work.


Well, I did say that, because any problem that could be fixed with a link to a YouTube video is intrinsically not a big deal.


My takeaway is yet another count of ethical grossness by Epic and another reason to not support them or their PC store.


So, culture appropriation isn’t a big deal because you can link to wikipedia, even though no one even does that?
I get that it’s a very messy concept with no simple interpretation, but give me a break.


Yeah, it’s a line that is tough to draw. And as was pointed out above I think the verynfact they are selling these dances as their own discrete thing, as if the dance animation was the value itself, that changes things. Had they been included in game, but not sold as separate items? Probably less of an issue.

But when they take the creative work of another, package it and sell it as it’s own thing, and no attribution? That definitely crosses the line. And that is undeniable to most.

Where, specifically, that line is? A different question. Would mere attribution but still making all the profit be over the line? I’d say yes, Stusser says no. Would some small license fee and selling it but without in game attribution be over the line? Eh probably not. Having them be something in game, but is not sold distinctly, but no attribution? Sketchy, but probably ‘ok’.

Like any one aspect of this
-no attribution
-selling the dance as a distinct item
-no financial compensation
Is not over the line, inherently. And you can probably combine two of the three and be, if not ok, at least firmly in the grey where reasonable disagreement occurs. It’s when you put all three together that it’s definitely not all right.


The only problem I foresee if they had attribution is potentially people saying, “hey, you attributed Mr. Bangoo with this dance, but he was copying me, Mr. Guitar, my video went up 3 months before his did.”


Sure, a legitimate problem. To which I propose the following solutions:

-do the work to determine the source as best you can, and in cases of misattribution be responsive in correcting them
-do the work and create your own damn dances, and don’t just lazily steal other people’s creative output to profit from

I don’t care which they go with. But the argument of ‘its too hard to properly find and attribute the original source’ is pretty weak tea.


And even if you could identify the first use on video, how do you know that person isn’t just doing something they saw in a club four years ago? It’s not just hard, it’s effectively impossible.