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Rockstar: Lohan's GTA suit is "for publicity purposes"

Rockstar: Lohan's GTA suit is "for publicity purposes"

Wed 27 Aug 2014 10:46am GMT / 6:46am EDT / 3:46am PDT
Legal

Actress's claims dismissed in Rockstar court documents as "frivolous"

Rockstar has made a case for the defence in its lawsuit with the actress Lindsay Lohan, who has accused the Grand Theft Auto developer of using her likeness without permission.

According to the Associated Press, which acquired legal documents filed with a Manhattan court, Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive have argued that Lohan's case was, "filed for publicity purposes." The two companies described the suit as "frivolous", called for its dismissal, and for Lohan to cover their legal fees.

Proceedings started in July this year, when Lohan accused Rockstar of used her likeness, voice and even fashion sense without permission for a character in Grand Theft Auto V: specifically "Lacey Jonas", who Lohan called an "unequivocal" copy.

As we stated at the time, the Digital Media Law Project does not offer much hope for Lohan to be successful in her attempt.

"As a general matter, you will not be held liable for using someone's name or likeness in a creative, entertaining, or artistic work that is transformative, meaning that you add some substantial creative element over and above the mere depiction of the person.

"In other words, the First Amendment ordinarily protects you if you use someone's name or likeness to create something new that is recognizably your own, rather than something that just evokes and exploits the person's identity."

6 Comments

James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada

190 250 1.3
Hopefully this ends up being an expensive publicity stunt.

Posted:3 months ago

#1

Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer

242 99 0.4
"Lindsay Lohan" and "Lacey Jonas" are phonetically very much alike, and the character clearly also resembles her in appearance and doings. So Rockstar shouldn't act like nothing's wrong, it's clear they deliberately used her.. Because the way Rockstar reacts to this case I do hope Lohan wins as I really don't like the arrogant stance Rockstar is taking..

Posted:3 months ago

#2

Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance

213 529 2.5
I think Rockstar is 100% right, it's completely frivolous. Lacey Jonas looks more like Kate Upton than she does Lindsay Lohan, and even if she did look like Lindsay Lohan, they are still protected because there is difference in the details.

I hope they do award something to Rockstar (if Lohan has somethign to award). Similarity in vowel sound and circumstance does not a likeness violation make.

Posted:3 months ago

#3

Paul Jace Merchandiser

955 1,449 1.5
"filed for publicity purposes."
Considering her career is currently in the toilent I'm pretty sure she's mainly doing this for financial purposes. She really needs the money because she blew all her personal finances on....questionable life choices.

Posted:3 months ago

#4

Alex Comer Technical Designer, FreeStyleGames

13 46 3.5
Of course it's her likeness, but that's besides the point: it's satire. Although it's rare in games, comedians and cartoonists use people's likenesses all the time. It is an important medium for free speech. If a court decided for Lohan, it would make satire impossible; it won't happen.

Posted:3 months ago

#5

Gareth Donaghey Customer Support Agent, Blizzard Entertainment

34 46 1.4
I'm balding here and sometimes wear a white t-shirt, think I could sue them for how they made fun out of me with Trevor?

Posted:3 months ago

#6

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