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

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.

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