Cypress Hill Singer Sues Rockstar/Take-Two Over 6-Year-Old Game

December 15, 2010 -

Would you believe yet another musician is suing a game developer/publisher?

Joining the ranks of No Doubt, Courtney Love and most recently, Axl Rose, Michael “Shagg” Washington, backup singer of rap group Cypress Hill, has filed suit against Rockstar Games and Take-Two.  He alleges that the main character of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was created using his image and life story.

Yeah, that’s right.  The GTA title that came out six years ago.

The complaint says Washington doesn’t play games so he didn’t find out about the likeness until last July when his nephew (who I dearly hope addresses him as “Uncle Shagg”) pointed it out to him.  At that point, he remembered meeting with Rockstar for a couple hours back in 2003 about possibly participating in the creation of a video game.

“The plaintiff, who had led a troubled life in his youth, responded to their questions and related details of his life.  The plaintiff told them about details of his street life including how the teen-agers in his gang rode around on bicycles...  After almost two hours of questioning which covered many topics of gang and street life, the meeting ended and the plaintiff was allowed to leave.

Before he left, the Plaintiff was told that if they chose to use him in the game, he would be notified."


Well, Rockstar never called so Washington is seeking $250 million (which he estimates is a quarter of the game's total profits) for fraud, misappropriation of likeness, and copyright infringement.  He is also requesting that Take-Two be enjoined from selling the six-year-old game until he’s been compensated for use of his likeness and ideas.

For its part, Take-Two said, "The Company believes the lawsuit is completely without merit and will vigorously defend itself in the matter."

Read the entire complaint here.

Via: IGN

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Cypress Hill Singer Sues Rockstar/Take-Two Over ...

He's mad because they put bikes in the game? I ride a bike? Can I sue them too?

Re: Cypress Hill Singer Sues Rockstar/Take-Two Over ...

If this case was the other way around, Rockstar would probably be just as petty. Welcome to the Litigious States of America.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Cypress Hill Singer Sues Rockstar/Take-Two Over ...

He wants $250 million? Didn't he get enough money from the casino heist?

Re: Cypress Hill Singer Sues Rockstar/Take-Two Over ...

You know why he's angry, right?  Now the government knows that it was him who stole their jetpack and green goo. 

Re: Cypruss Hill Singer Sues Rockstar/Take-Two Over ...

6 years?! Come on. If Rockstar asked me details about my life and then a year later came out with a game, I would be interested to see if they did add my likeness within weeks of release.

Regardless, they did not use his image or likeness. They didn't violate anything. Could they have borrowed some details from the stories he told them? SURE! Happens all the time when it comes to writing. If someone told me about an experience they had as a soldier and I happened to write a short story with some similarities based off of the events told, that is not illegal but common-place. Rockstar asked details about gang life and his troubled youth, he provided info. Sounds perfectly legit. No contracts signed? 

I see this being without merit and most likely dismissed by the court.

 

---------

James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

Re: Cypruss Hill Singer Sues Rockstar/Take-Two Over ...

Well yes, it happens all the time in writing.. it is also a common lawsuit.

This is a case of where the entertainment industry tends to be a bit slimy.. it is not unusual for the people who listen to pitches, read drafts, or start up projects to turn around and hand the material over to their internal teams, cutting out the 'outsider' who originated much of the content. A lot of young, unconnected, unknown authors have really been screwed by the practice over the years.... and there are people in the industry who build their entire career out of this class of IP theft.

 
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Andrew EisenI still don't get the what #notyourshield is supposed to mean. Who is unfairly using who as a shield for what?09/18/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99Didn't said anything about #notyourshield or it's origins. Assuming your comment was directed at me.09/18/2014 - 4:28pm
prh99Leigh Alexander is right though, no one has to cater to them (trolls). I think a lot of them would likely continue playing even if scantily clad women were omitted or protagonist was female.09/18/2014 - 4:21pm
Michael ChandraSo no, normal gamers feeling attacked was not what sparked #notyourshield and only a fool would suggest otherwise.09/18/2014 - 4:21pm
Michael Chandra#NotYourShield was kickstarted by 4chan people, so don't go and make nonsense claims about that.09/18/2014 - 4:20pm
prh99those toxic individuals conduct their trolling under. It could have easily been under the Men Rights banner etc, they are just generally unpleasant and angry people who can't stand people disagreeing with them. 09/18/2014 - 4:00pm
prh99The whole gamer identity is the scapegoat some have latched onto in the wake of gamergate. I am sure it will fade, only to be replaced with the next thing, it always is. I am not so sure removal of identity will fix the problem, it's just the banner..09/18/2014 - 3:55pm
E. Zachary KnightAs for the whole "death of gamer" thing, I am personally patiently waiting for the day when being a person who plays games is as much of an identity as a person who reads books, watches tv/movie, listens to music. It will happen.09/18/2014 - 2:42pm
E. Zachary KnightThought I would share this io9 article as a bit of a rebuttal to the earlier Spider-man/Spider-woman comparison: http://io9.com/10-stupid-arguments-people-use-to-defend-comic-book-sex-163638182409/18/2014 - 2:41pm
Papa MidnightKyle Orland's response: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/addressing-allegations-of-collusion-among-gaming-journalists/09/18/2014 - 12:41pm
Papa MidnightJames, I say this as a person who has managed a gaming press website before: This article is horrendous sensationalism: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/18/2014 - 12:41pm
Krono@james I never said you did. I was responding to Andrew's statement that he'd seen a mere two articles suggesting that the term gamer was tainted, by pointing him to a list of the articles that were more or less the orgin of the idea.09/18/2014 - 12:09pm
E. Zachary KnightBut james, you replied to my tweet when I tweeted about one of those articles. That is basically the same thing as writing an editorial on GP in support of it. ;)09/18/2014 - 12:04pm
james_fudgeNot only did we not write one, we didn't cover any of them either.09/18/2014 - 11:46am
KronoThe underlying suggestion most of the articles had that gamers supporting the issue were just the young men stereotype pissed off a lot of people, and sparked the #NotYourShield tag09/18/2014 - 9:41am
Krono@andrew Just two? The whole reason #GamerGate gained real traction was that 9 op-eds including arguments to that effect dropped in 24 hours: http://markdownshare.com/view/a524affd-e679-40be-8aa1-72058065dc2a09/18/2014 - 9:38am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.gog.com/forum/general/double_fine_abandoned_spacebase_df9_development ITT: People who don't know what Early Access is.09/18/2014 - 9:32am
ZippyDSMleeFF2/4 remake now on steam.09/18/2014 - 9:13am
james_fudgeThis what they really think of us: http://www.donotlink.com/framed?54192709/18/2014 - 9:10am
ConsterAh yes, nothing quite says "I take offense to being associated with an awful few" like siding with said awful few.09/18/2014 - 9:07am
 

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