No Doubt filed a lawsuit claiming that Activision overstepped its contractual agreement to use the band members' avatars in "Band Hero".
Posted on Nov 10, 2009 03:43 pm
No Doubt filed a lawsuit, November 4th, claiming that Activision Publishing Inc. overstepped its contractual agreement to use the band members' avatars in its recently released "Band Hero" video game, according to the Los Angeles Times. The suit claims the game has "transformed No Doubt band members into a virtual karaoke circus act," singing songs that were not written or recorded by the California-based band.
No Doubt reportedly agreed to allow Activision to use the band's music and likenesses in no more than three of the band's own songs: "Don't Speak," "Just A Girl" and "Excuse Me Mr."
However, the game's character manipulation feature allows players to use the likenesses of Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young to perform more than 60 songs, "many of which include lyrics ... which are not appropriate for No Doubt and have not been and would not have been chosen by No Doubt for recordings or public performances," according to the suit.
As an example, the suit cites a gamers ability to use Stefani's image to sing The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women."
"While No Doubt are avid fans of The Rolling Stones the character manipulation feature results in an unauthorized performance by the Gwen Stefani avatar in a male voice boasting about having sex with prostitutes," the complaint reads.
The band members reportedly claim Activision executives did not tell them about the character manipulation feature and refused to remove or disable it at the band's request because it would be too expensive.
No Doubt's suit is seeking unspecified actual and punitive damages, a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction against distribution of "Band Hero." The band also wants Activision to recall all existing copies of the game.
Activision issued a statement saying the lawsuit is without merit. The company "believes it is within its legal rights with respect to the use and portrayal of the band members in the game," according to a Billboard report.
Activision also was criticized in September for allowing the likeness of Kurt Cobain in "Guitar Hero 5" to perform songs popularized by bands other than Nirvana, including No Doubt's song "Ex-Girlfriend." However, no suit has been filed over Cobain's avatar.
Thanks for the report to Livedaily.com.