DANCE FIGHT - Epic Games was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit Tuesday in California Central District Court over the popular game Fortnite Battle Royale. The case was filed by Hecht Partners LLP on behalf of Kyle Hanagami, who contends that Epic misappropriated his choreography for non-party Charlie Puth’s song “How Long” via a feature which gamers can purchase that enables their virtual characters to perform dances. The suit describes the Fortnite dance as an “inch-perfect copy” of Hanagami’s copyrighted choreography, which has been viewed by millions on YouTube since it was first posted in 2017. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendant. The case is 2:22-cv-02063, Hanagami v. Epic Games, Inc. et al. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar.  


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HANDS-OFF APPROACH - Most U.S.-based firms stopped handling “completion money”—a system in which firms hold money on behalf of a client in order to see an M&A transaction through smoothly—years ago. But, as Law.com International’s Paul Hodkinson, Krishnan Nair and Rose Walker report, the U.K., the shift away from that practice has been more recent, speeding up particularly during the pandemic, and it has mostly taken place at firms that handle large-scale M&A. The service has been “going out of fashion” for many years, according to Edmund Reed, managing partner at Travers Smith—particularly for firms working in large-scale M&A. Reed said a lot of U.S.-led law firms and M&A-focused U.K. firms don’t offer such services anymore due to the risk involved. “The risk of online fraud has just gone up and up,” he said. “It is a different world and a different risk profile compared with when solicitors started to do it 300 years ago. It feels like an anachronism.” He added that on a large M&A transaction, there could be billions of pounds running through solicitors’ accounts. If something went wrong, it could be “potentially firm-ending.”


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