Epic Games claims Fortnite direct payments are not "theft"

"Apple has no right to the fruits of Epic's labour, other than the rights arising under a contract"

Epic Games claims Fortnite direct payments are not "theft"

Epic Games has insisted that its direct payments in Fortnite are not "theft" as described by Apple.

In a new legal filing, Epic has refuted the claims made by the tech giant last month. However, Apple's court documents were filed in retaliation to the games behemoth's actions in August, following the removal of Fortnite from the App Store.

"Apple has no right to the fruits of Epic's labour, other than the rights arising under a contract. Consumers who choose to make in-app purchases in Fortnite pay for Epic's creativity, innovation and effort - to enjoy an experience that Epic has designed," said Epic's legal team.

Although Epic did acknowledge that it has broken contractual obligations with Apple, however, the Fortnite creator claimed, "those contractual restrictions are unlawful."

"In the License Agreement, Epic was forced to agree to make Apple its agent for those sales and let Apple take a 30% commission,"

"By offering Fortnite users the choice of making purchases directly from Epic, Epic breached those contractual provisions (assuming they are legal)."

Is it yours?

"Apple seeks to compare Epic's conduct to stealing cash from a vault in Apple Park, or raiding Apple's bank account. But what the Counterclaims allege is very different," reads the document.

"The money in Apple's vault or bank account is the property of Apple, in which Apple unquestionably has a possessory interest; the money paid by Fortnite users is not. It is money that Fortnite users choose to pay in return for Epic's creative endeavours.

"Apple's repeated assertions of theft boil down to the extraordinary assertion that Epic's collection of payments by players of Epic's game to enjoy the work of Epic's artists, designers, and engineers is the taking of something that belongs to Apple."

See you in court

Earlier this month, US judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers part granted and part denied Epic's injunction against Apple. She offered protection for the Unreal Engine, though would not force Apple to bring Fortnite back to its storefront.

Epic Games and Apple will go to court in May 2021. However, they will not go before a jury, despite the recommendation that they do so by Gonzalez Rogers.

Staff Writer

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