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Epic Games Sued Yet Again, This Time For Fortnite's Phone It In Emote

Will they never learn? There has yet to be a successful emote lawsuit against Fortnite developer Epic Games, but that isn't stopping saxophonist Leo Pellegrino, who is taking some issue with Fortnite's Phone It In emote.

According to The Verge, Pellegrino plays the sax in a band called Too Many Zooz, and it came to his attention that the Phone It In emote shows a saxophone player busting out some funky moves while playing Pellegrino's trademark instrument.

Pellegrino dances and plays the sax. The emote causes Fortnite characters to dance and play the sax. This is all you need to file a lawsuit against Epic Games, apparently — especially if you're Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, which is the firm that's also filed every other lawsuit related to Fortnite and its emotes.

Interestingly enough, the firm is trying a new tactic on behalf of Pellegrino. They're not going after Fortnite for the dance specifically. Instead, they're claiming the game ripped off Pellegrino's likeness, which is... a choice. There isn't a Fortnite avatar that looks like a copy of Pellegrino himself, and the "likeness" referenced in the suit actually refers to Pellegrino's stance while performing and "his love of putting on energetic performances using the saxophone." It's essentially taking some back roads to the same destination — their beef is with the emote, they're just not stating it explicitly.

It's understandable why. The Supreme Court has tossed out a bunch of the lawsuits filed by Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, pending copyright filings that may or may not be approved. Now the firm appears to be searching for new ways to get its cases heard, which could explain why this particular suit was filed in the eastern district of Pennsylvania instead of in California like the rest.

The other Fortnite lawsuits were shaky, but this one feels like a real stretch — especially since it's going to be very difficult to prove that Epic Games used Pellegrino as its inspiration and not, you know, any other dancing saxophone player. But we'll certainly keep an eye on this suit and let you know if anything further comes of it.