No Doubt judge tells Activision: 'Your shit is bananas' (or words to that effect)

Activision are having a bad week, with strained relations between the publisher and their ex-BFFs at Infinity Ward tarnishing the image of the Modern Warfare series. But the latest stress comes from No Doubt's lawsuit for the way the band's image was used in Band Hero.

A quick recap: No Doubt signed on for their patented brand of pop-friendly ska-rock to be included in Band Hero. But on release, the band sued for breach of contract, outraged that their avatars could be made to perform music by anyone from the Rolling Stones (a step up) to 3 Doors Down and Everclear (not so much so). Stefani et al called their inclusion in the game a “virtual karaoke circus act,” which is a waste of a good band name if ever there was one.

Above: Google Search result for the phrase “virtual karaoke circus act” 

This week, the LA Times (via Gamasutra) report that an LA court rejected Activision's 1st Amendment defense of their liberal use of the polygonal post-grungers. This raises the likelihood that Courtney Love's impending suit against the publisher – for pulling the same stunt with Kurt Cobain's likeness in Guitar Hero 5 – will be a success.

Above: Why they chose to base the avatar on Michael Pitt as Cobain is anyone's guess 

“Never did i intend on allowing GUITARHERO for me or for Kurt i am NOT yoko f***ing Ono,” tweeted Love shortly before bringing the suit last year. Which, if nothing else, affirms the poetic refinement of the phrase “virtual karaoke circus act.”

Apr 16, 2010


  • Triton7K - April 18, 2010 5:07 p.m. What video game company HASN'T sued Activision recently??? Double Fine, EA, and Infinity Ward have all had issues with Activision, and it's a matter of time until Harmonix sues Activision for stealing from Rock Band!!!
  • OnyxOblivion - April 18, 2010 11:08 a.m.

    I'm a Nirvana fan. And I don't think its fair to limited a character you spent so time animating and creating to one or two songs. It's really not worth the effort of development in such a case. I hate this shit. Just use the fake characters then.
  • Tomgoulter - April 18, 2010 6:11 a.m.

    @Ventanger: that's unacceptable. Everyone needs to be able to see Most Beautiful Men. Try
  • ventanger - April 17, 2010 9:32 p.m.

    Notice to Tom, I'm forbidden from looking at *sob*
  • NanoElite666 - April 17, 2010 7:05 p.m.

    Simple solution? Stop giving out your likenesses to games like this! That way, you don't have to throw a fit when someone who plays it decides to use your digital characterization while playing songs that you didn't write. You've (hopefully) got this thing in your head called a "brain." Use it.
  • TerminX - April 17, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    Gwen needs to shut up ffs There's a gender lock on the characters, which she would realize if she'd actually played the game before making her accusations. If you pick Gwen, or any other female avatar as your singer then pick any male fronted songs (eg, The Rolling Stones) it will switch out your singer to a gender-appropriate one. She deserves to lose horribly here for not having a damned clue what she's talking about..
  • MagneticDavE - April 17, 2010 6:47 a.m.

    Yeah, yoko looks after john lennon's legacy by getting him to sell citroëns!
  • D0CCON - April 17, 2010 4:58 a.m.

    I don't care how it happens, but I would love to see Activision go down. Every series I love dies in there hands. GH went to them and has lost all meaning due to uninspired games that come out once every 2-3 months (thank goodness for Rock Band), Spider-Man has become a money-grabber for Activision (Batman can tie me over until things get better, please don't screw up Shattered Dimensions), and I feel VERY lucky that MW2 got out before this crap started happening (some IW talent is going to EA, maybe EA could become the owner of Medal of Honor, Battlefield, AND COD, free DLC for all!) And to think I didn't care too much about what Activision did just a couple years ago.
  • MitsuharuSan - April 17, 2010 2:34 a.m.

    I'm sorry for what I'll say and anyone who gets offended... But Courtney Love is a b*tch. Yes, you're not Yoko eff'n Ono indeed. Yoko knows how to take care of John's legacy and is far from being the poor excuse of human being that you are, mrs. Love. Sadly some poor bastards who don't really know anything about our boys from Liverpool truly think that Yoko was "responsible" for the end of the band... Sheesh.
  • ventanger - April 17, 2010 2:26 a.m.

    You think the band should win?! Uhhh ok here goes, I'm going to open a No Doubt video in youtube, mute the sound, and play a Slayer song instead. There, I just did what Band Hero did in 7 seconds, AND SO CAN EVERYBODY ELSE! What a crock.
  • kicking222 - April 17, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    Wow, never did I think I'd see Michael Pitt referenced in a video game article. That's pretty cool, actually.
  • Cyberninja - April 17, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    i hope this goes well for the band
  • ventanger - April 17, 2010 1:33 a.m.

    Did Courtney Love really use that terrible spelling and grammar? And here I thought that decades of drug and alcohol abuse had no effect, and apparently according to LA courts, asinine ridiculous lawsuits brought by said smack-addled minds are rewarded. Amazing.

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