Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over 'Call of Duty: Black Ops II'

July 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Courthouse News highlights a lawsuit filed by former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega against Activision for "blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain" of his image in the video game, "Call of Duty: Black Ops II."

Noriega was chased down by U.S. military and captured in 1989. He was convicted in 1992 of drug dealing, racketeering, and money laundering. After his U.S. prison sentence ended in 2007, Noriega was extradited to France, where he had been convicted in absentia of murder and money laundering. After being released on conditions in France, he was re-extradited to Panama in 2011, to serve 20 years there. He is currently still in prison.

In his lawsuit Noriega claims: "In an effort to increase the popularity and revenue generated by BLACK OPS II, defendants used, without authorization or consent, the image and likeness of plaintiff in BLACK OPS II."

"Defendants' use of plaintiff's image and likeness caused damage to plaintiff. Plaintiff was portrayed as an antagonist and portrayed as the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes, creating the false impression that defendants are authorized to use plaintiff's image and likeness. This caused plaintiffs to receive profits they would not have otherwise received."

His lawsuit also takes issue with being portrayed as a "kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state. An objective of one portion of 'Black Ops II' is solely to capture plaintiff."

The 13-page lawsuit goes on to say that including the plaintiff in the game was meant to heighten realism in its video game, 'Black Ops II,' which translates "directly into heightened sales for defendants."

Noriega, who is represented by Thomas Girardi with Girardi & Keese, seeks damages for unjust enrichment, unfair business practices, and violation of common-law publicity rights.

You can read more about the case here.


Comments

Re: Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over 'Call of Duty: Black ...

Here is a good incentive to back away from going realism for graphics. The more realistic characters look, the more likely someone will pop up claiming the dev used their image.

Doppelganger, are an actual thing, though not in the old paranormal/myth sense. With how many people are out in the world, look a likes aren't that rare of an occurrence. Heck, there are at least three for me, none that I've actually met in person, but have ran into the friends and family of at airports or in the streets.

If you take a realistic face, give it a story that is either infamous or famous, someone out there, will pop out of the wood works and say it's them.

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Re: Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over 'Call of Duty: Black ...

Oh, I heard about the people buying Black Ops 2 just because a real life drug dealing, racketeering, money laundering, murdering dictator appeared in it.

 

Guess he hasn't anything better to do in prison. Don't they have ballpens to assemble or anything?

Re: Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over 'Call of Duty: Black ...

I'd wager an ungodly vast amount of the people who play CoD have no freaking clue who Noriega even is...

/"Oh hey! Got a tweet from mah pal Lindsay Lohan saying she's suing a game developer! I want in on that too!"

 
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