Activision, the same gaming company that drew fire in September for its off-brand use of a virtual Kurt Cobain avatar in Guitar Hero, are now drawing equal ire from ska-pop superstars No Doubt—and a real-life lawsuit, per a story on the L.A. Times blog.
According to papers filed today in a Los Angeles court, the brand-new Band Hero has unlawfully “transformed No Doubt band members into a virtual karaoke circus act,” singing some 60 songs neither belonging to the group nor approved by them for use in the game, including the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Woman.”
“While No Doubt are avid fans of the Rolling Stones and even have performed in concerts with the Rolling Stones,” the complaint states, “the Character Manipulation Feature results in an unauthorized performance by the Gwen Stefani avatar in a male voice boasting about having sex with prostitutes.”
“Activision has deceived and confused the public into believing that No Doubt authorized the use of its name and likeness for the Character Manipulation Feature of Band Hero and that No Doubt approves and endorses the appearance of its members individually performing songs that are wholly inappropriate and out of character for No Doubt,” the complaint continues, and also states that Activision executives deemed disabling the feature “too expensive.”
What do you think, readers—is all this sound and fury misplaced on what is, essentially, just silly entertainment? Or does No Doubt have the right to retain full control over an image they’ve now worked to create for more than two decades?
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