Hot on the heals of the release of Activision’s Band Hero, the group No Doubt has filed suit against the game publisher for turning them into a "virtual karaoke circus act."
According to the Los Angeles Times, the suit alleges No Doubt’s contract with Activision only allowed the band’s likeness to be used in three of its own songs, but in reality the band can be made to sing up to 62 different songs through the game’s Character Manipulation feature.
According to the band’s manager:
“The band [members] are bitterly disappointed that their name and likeness was taken and used without their permission,” manager Jim Guerinot said today. “They agreed to play three No Doubt songs as a band…. Activision then went and put them in 62 other songs and broke the band up [and] never even asked.”
To which Activision replied:
“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.”
The LAT article quotes a lot of back and forth between the band’s manager and Activision’s official statement. It will be interesting to see how the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, will pan out.
This isn’t the first time Activision’s "Hero" franchise of music games has faced controversy. In September, Courtney Love complained of the use of Kurt Cobain’s likeness in Guitar Hero 5. While Activision said it had approval from Love to use Cobain’s likeness, she later said she never approved the avatar.