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The Courts Games

Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over Call of Duty 83

mrspoonsi sends this BBC report: Manuel Noriega, the former dictator of Panama, is suing Call of Duty's video games publisher. The ex-military ruler is seeking lost profits and damages after a character based on him featured in Activision's 2012 title Black Ops II. The 80-year-old is currently serving a jail sentence in Panama for crimes committed during his time in power, including the murder of critics. One lawyer said this was the latest in a growing trend of such lawsuits. "In the U.S., individuals have what's called the right to publicity, which gives them control over how their person is depicted in commerce including video games," explained Jas Purewal, an interactive entertainment lawyer. "There's also been a very well-known action by a whole series of college athletes against Electronic Arts, and the American band No Doubt took action against Activision over this issue among other cases. "It all focuses upon the American legal ability for an individual to be only depicted with their permission, which in practice means payment of a fee. "But Noriega isn't a US citizen or even a resident. This means that his legal claim becomes questionable, because it's unclear on what legal basis he can actually bring a case against Activision."
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Manuel Noriega Sues Activision Over Call of Duty

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  • by Jeff Flanagan ( 2981883 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:34PM (#47469479)
    >As much as everyone has reason to hate Manuel Noriega


    > I want to see him win this, including punitive damages. Activision is that bad of a company.

    That's a poor reason to want someone to win a lawsuit. If he wins it should be because his suit has merit.
  • by just_another_sean ( 919159 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:49PM (#47469643) Journal

    He's in prison under Panamanian law. Sure, we helped put him there (and profited from his crimes before that became unfashionable and he became less willing to be controlled) but he's in prison for violating Panamanian law and was put there by the Panamanian judiciary.

  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:49PM (#47469645) Homepage

    I find it very strange if I wouldn't have the same standing to sue anyone abusing my likeness in a US court for violation of US law in US jurisdiction as anyone else. For example, if you slander me in a US newspaper why shouldn't I have standing to sue you? If those laws didn't apply to literally everyone, any foreigner would be totally without the protection of the law in every country but their own and there's plenty crimes that can be conducted remotely.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.