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No Doubt sues Activision over Band Hero usage

Thu 05 Nov 2009 9:15am GMT / 4:15am EST / 1:15am PST
Publishing

But publisher stands firm, saying portrayal is "within its legal rights"

Activision Blizzard

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide pure-play online...

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The use of No Doubt likenesses in upcoming release Band Hero has resulted in a lawsuit from the band against the publisher, with the former being unhappy at the way they've been portrayed in the game by the latter.

According to a statement from the band, they're upset that members of the group can be used on any track - not just their own - and that the group itself can be split up.

"Musical artists No Doubt announced that they have filed a lawsuit against Activision Publishing today, Wednesday, November 4, 2009 and are seeking an injunction and damages," read the statement, as published on Rolling Stone.

"No Doubt agreed to place avatars containing their name and likeness performing three No Doubt songs in the upcoming Band Hero game of the Guitar Hero series from Activision.

"Without the band’s knowledge or approval Activision turned the group into virtual karaoke players by having them perform over 60 additional songs by other musical groups.

"Additionally Activision allowed the groups character to be isolated into solo performances of these cover songs and placed randomly in countless variations contrary to the agreement between the parties.

"Despite repeated requests by the band that Activision honour its contract Activision has refused claiming the necessary fix would be too expensive."

But Activision has hit back, stating that following "extensive" negotiations with the band it has a written agreement to use No Doubt in the game, and that such usage is "within its legal rights".

"Some of the world’s most popular and iconic artists have been featured in Guitar Hero as playable characters, and we are proud to count No Doubt among them," said the publisher. "Activision has a written agreement to use No Doubt in Band Hero - an agreement signed by No Doubt after extensive negotiations with its representatives, who collectively have decades of experience in the entertainment industry.

"Pursuant to that agreement, Activision worked with No Doubt and the band’s management in developing Band Hero. As a result, Activision believes it 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."

Activision is currently part-way through its Hero franchise release slate, with Guitar Hero 5 and DJ Hero now in shops, with Band Hero to follow shortly.

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