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Activision Answers No Doubt's Suit Over Band Hero

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Posted December 9, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson



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Band Hero Track List Revealed

Last month, we brought you the word that band No Doubt is suing Activision over its portrayal in music game Band Hero, claiming that the game "transformed No Doubt band members into a virtual karaoke circus act" by having them "sing, dance and perform over sixty songs" without getting their permission.

Activision has answered the charges thusly in a counter-claim filed on December 3:

Activision admits that it created and owns the "Band Hero" videogame that is part of Activision's flagship "Guitar Hero" videogame franchise, admits that Plaintiffs members' in-game characters {or "avatars"} which had been approved by Plaintiff are in "Band Hero" 'pursuant to a fully paid license agreement with Plaintiff, admits that certain users of "Band Hero" are able to "unlock" its members' in-game characters and can then choose to play songs performed by other artists using "unlocked" characters as part of their game-play, denies the truth of the remaining allegations set forth in Paragraph 2 and specifically denies any and all allegations of wrongdoing against Activision.

Activision's suit claims, basically, that No Doubt approved of the use of their likenesses in the game to sing other people's songs, then later didn't approve, but by then, it was too late: The game was already finished. In legalese:

Activision admits that although it is possible to program a videogame whereby particular in-game characters can only be selected when certain songs are played , Plaintiff first requested this only after the "Band Hero" programming was finalized , had been submitted to all of the U.S . console manufacturers for approval and had been approved for manufacture by most console manufacturers

I'm no lawyer, but the agreements/contracts attached to Activision's counter-suit that were apparently signed by No Doubt's members seem pretty clear cut to me. The moral of the story: Be careful what you sign, even if they're waving a lot of money in front of your face... either that or: Just accept that appearing as a character in a (Blank) Hero video game will make you look sort of cheesy when you play other artists songs. Console yourself with all the money they pay you.

Source: Game Politics

Activision Answers No Doubt's Suit Over Band Hero
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