Appeals Court Rules: No Doubt Lawsuit Against Activision Can Proceed

The Los Angeles Times reports that Activision has lost its bid to get a lawsuit filed by ska-rockers No Doubt thrown out. A three-judge panel rejected the company’s motion to throw out the 2009 lawsuit that alleged breach of contract.

The group contends that the breach occurred when Activision allowed players of Band Hero to use band members’ avatars to "perform songs they did not write." The band said in its lawsuit that this "transformed No Doubt band members into a virtual karaoke circus act."

In its appeal of the suit, Activision said that it was simply a matter of "creative expression." The three-judge panel apparently disagreed.

No Doubt can now proceed with its lawsuit.

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  1. 0
    CyberSkull says:

    I’m wondering if No Doubt is worried that their in-game avatars performing another artist’s songs could be construed as an unauthorized performance and they could be on the hook for licensing fees for said performance?

  2. 0
    Defenestrator says:

    Yeah…because when Gwen Stefani sings "Ring of Fire" in real life she miraculously sounds like Johnny Cash.  It’s quite a spectacle you need to see in concert.

    (EDIT:  this was meant as a reply to Greevar…but I failed at button clicking)

  3. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Honestly ,even if I was still a fan of them I wouldn’t boycott the game, I’d get it because I’d think being able to play as a favorite rock star is a selling point.

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I think it all comes down to what was in that contract.  If they gave persmission for use of their assets in specific ways and did not give it in others, then regardless of what else has been put into the game, Activision would not have had permission to do so.

    When dealing with stuff like this it is not unusual to put in artist-specific code branches.

  5. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    I just want to know what rock No Doubt was living under, that it came as any surprise to them.  Had they really never seen a (whatever) Hero game before?

  6. 0
    Pvt. Jackass says:

    Nah, even if the Guitar Hero series continues it won’t be doing much either. Not like people are going to stop playing the game just because they used someone’s likeness without official paperwork.

    Even if No Doubt fans somehow "boycotts" the game, it won’t last long either, see: Modern Warfare 2. 

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