Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 12:19 p.m.
Trapped in a box and made to sing old Rolling Stones songs
No Doubt's attorneys are getting their day in court to argue that the band's virtual likenesses in the 2009 video game Band Hero are nothing to play with. OC's seminal break-out band claim they were misled by Santa Monica-based video game giant Activision about how their avatars would be used in the game.
Superior Court Judge Ramona See ruled Tuesday
that a jury will hear the band's claims against the game maker after rejecting the motion by Activision's lawyers to dismiss several other claims from the case, including fraud, violation of publicity rights and breach of contract.
The Anaheim-bred act sued Activision in November 2009, claiming that they were never told that players could unlock their virtual avatars to perform music by other artists--making them more of a virtual karaoke act than anything else. Maroon 5
frontman Adam Levine
has a similar lawsuit against the video game company, filed in 2011.
Of course, unlocking special character features is a video game tradition about as old as Atari. But the band claims it's the non-No Doubt songs you can make their characters sing that still has them riled up. Imagine Gwen Stefani's horror when she found out her video game character could be forced by a gamer to sing Rolling Stone's "Honky Tonk Women." Just picture these lyrics coming from the frontwoman who wrote the female power anthem "Just a Girl":
"I laid a divorcee in New York City/ I had to put up some kind of a fight/ The lady then covered me with roses/ she blew my nose and then she blew my mind."
Despite giving them a chance to argue their case, See
rejected the band's ability to seek an injunction denied on a technical basis a request for an injunction prohibiting Activision from using the band's likenesses to perform anymore classic rock tunes in the game.
Meanwhile, Activision's attorney's claim to have a video recording of the band being told about the game's unlockable features for it's characters. The case is expected to go to trial later this year.
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