Epic Games has strongly refuted Apple's claim that its use of direct payments in Fortnite constitutes "theft," on the grounds that it is "implausible and deficient as a matter of law." In a new filing with the US District Court, Epic addressed various allegations in the countersuit Apple issued last month -- itself the response to a legal complaint filed by Epic after Fortnite was removed from the App Store for adding direct payments to avoid paying a 30% share of revenue. The filing -- first spotted by The Verge -- asserted that "Apple has no right to the fruits of Epic's labor, other than the rights arising under a contract." Epic's legal team continued: "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." While Epic's contractual agreement with Apple includes a mandatory share of all payments made in Fortnite, Epic took action due to its belief that "those contractual restrictions are unlawful" -- a fundamental repudiation of Apple's claim that Epic's actions were "theft, period." "Apple seeks to compare Epic's conduct to stealing cash from a vault in ApplePark, or raiding Apple's bank account," the document stated. "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 endeavors.
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