First, Courtney Love threatens to “sue the s–t” out of *Activision* for putting Kurt Cobain in Guitar Hero 5, and now rock-ska band No Doubt is suing the company for turning it into a “virtual karaoke circus act” in Band Hero. At issue is the way that band members like Gwen Stefani are portrayed; No Doubt agreed to appear in the game — and coincidentally, is still promoting Band Hero on its website — but says that Activision (NSDQ: ATVI) used their likenesses in ways that the contract they signed didn’t cover.
Jim Guerinot, the band’s manager, told the LAT that No Doubt only agreed to play three songs together as a band in the game. But Band Hero lets players split No Doubt up, and play as individuals in over 60 songs; players can give Stefani a man’s voice, for example, and make her sing the Rolling Stones’ Honky Tonk Women (which refers to having sex with prostitutes). So the band members are suing Activision for a preliminary injunction prohibiting the “unauthorized use” of their names and likenesses; No Doubt is asking for unspecified actual and punitive damages, a permanent ban on distribution of the game, and even a recall of existing copies.
Activision responded to the suit with this statement: “Activision has a written agreement to use No Doubt in Band Hero — an agreement signed by No Doubt after extensive negotiations with its representatives, who collectively have decades of experience in the entertainment industry. Pursuant to that agreement, Activision worked with No Doubt and the band