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No Doubt lawsuit against Activision moves on

April 16, 2010

Activision just can’t get any legal loving lately. In the midst of dealing with Infinity Ward’s collapse, the developer has gotten another legal jab to the gut in a lawsuit filed by rock band No Doubt last fall.

In the suit, No Doubt claims Activision was in violation of a contract signed between both parties for the game Band Hero, which authorized the use of avatars resembling the members of the band within three No Doubt songs, in Activision’s authorization of allowing the avatars to be “unlocked” and used in other songs included in the game.

The band claims written approval was required from them for their likenesses to be used in that manner, which Activision did not do.

In a response to Kotaku, Activision believes that, because of its legal agreement and cooperation with No Doubt, the developer is “within its legal rights with respect to the use and portrayal of the band members in the game and that this lawsuit is without merit.”

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kenji Machida believes that the lawsuit has merit and ruled in favor of the band, issuing a tentative ruling that rejects Activision’s attempted invocations of freedom-of-speech protections under the 1st Amendment in defense of the broader use of the No Doubt avatars.

Before attempting a freedom of speech defense, Activision argued it was a violation of copyright, not an issue of right-of-publicity.

Activision can dispute Judge Machida’s ruling. We’ll keep you posted as more develops.

And here I thought we had enough with Infinity Wardgate. Time to get ready for No Doubtgate…

[Via LA Times]

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