The Hollywood Reporter reports that Michael "Shagg" Washington has failed to convince an appeals court in California that a lower court's ruling on his case against Take-Two Interactive over Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas didn't have merit. The lower court ruled that the case filed by the model and backup singer for the rap group Cypress Hill against Take-Two in 2010 was without merit. Washington alleged that the main character in the game was based on his likeness and some of his personal story, which he claims he shared with game developers in a meeting in 2003. Washington demanded $250 million in damages.
But a lower court judge didn't think there was enough evidence to draw a definitive conclusion and tossed the case out. Washington took his case to the California Appeals court, but the court came to the same conclusion. The Appeals Court ruled on Wednesday that Washington had failed to establish a probability of defeating Take-Two's First Amendment-based "transformative use" defense.
The judge in the original case came to the conclusion that Washington was relying too much on the likeness of C.J., and not on evidence that would have definitively proved he and C.J were the same person – like birthmarks or tattoos.
"Plaintiff is relying entirely on CJ's physical appearance in the game, but that appearance is so generic that it necessarily includes hundreds of other black males," the judge said at the time.
Source: Hollywood Reporter