Just a month after the firm was blasted (inaccurately, it turned out) by Courtney Love, Activision’s Guitar Hero franchise is subject of another celebrity lawsuit.
This time rock band No Doubt is up in arms over an appearance in Band Hero, which the group allege contravenes their licensing deal by showing them performing other artists’ hits.
The lawsuit, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court the LA Times reports, says that Activision only has rights to showing the band with its own songs.
However Band Hero sees the group – including female vocalist Gwen Stefani plus Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young – able to virtually perform 60 songs by a variety of artists.
No Doubt has issue with the fact that many of [these songs] include lyrics, contained in iconic songs, which are not appropriate for No Doubt and have not been and would not have been chosen by No Doubt for recordings or public performances.”
While No Doubt are avid fans of the Rolling Stones and even have performed in concerts with the Rolling Stones […] the Character Manipulation Feature results in an unauthorized performance by the Gwen Stefani avatar in a male voice boasting about having sex with prostitutes," the filing states.
The band also objects to the fact male bassist Kanal can be made to perform the group’s famous song ‘Just a Girl’.
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 statement from the firm adds.
In September just before Guitar Hero 5 was released, Kurt Cobain’s widow Courtney Love said Activision was abusing its rights to her deceased husband’s and Nirvana front man’s likeness by featuring animations of him singing other artists’ music. At the time, Activision said Love knew the terms of the contract for rights to Cobain’s image – the firm has yet to make a statement about No Doubt’s claims.
Band Hero is Activision’s family-focused take on Guitar Hero, and features a variety of mainstream rock and pop acts, including the likes of Taylor Swift (pictured) in order to attract younger gamers.