A judge in California ruled to dismiss Manuel Noriega lawsuit against Activsion for using his name and likeness without his consent in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, William H. Fahey, ruled to dismiss the lawsuit because it violated Activsion right to free speech and the states anti-SLAPP laws. Court documents noted several similar cases in the past to support Activsion’s claim while also making note of the atrocities committed by Noriega when he was dictator of Panama.
Activision lead console and former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, stated in a press release,
“This was an absurd lawsuit from the very beginning and we’re gratified that in the end, a notorious criminal didn’t win. This is not just a win for the makers of Call of Duty, but is a victory for works of art across the entertainment and publishing industries throughout the world.”
The former dictator filed the lawsuit against Activsion for using his name and likeness without consent while also portraying him in a negative manner. Noriega appears as a minor villain who helps a terrorist escape then is hunted by the main character during Operation Just Cause.
Will Fulton of Digital Trend noted that ruling could set precedent for Lindsy Lohan’s lawsuit against Rockstar Games. The actress is suing over the appearance of a character in Grand Theft Auto V which she claims was based on her likeness without consent.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is the ninth game in the series and was released on November 13, 2012 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game focus on a father and son in the special forces as they hunt a terrorist starting from the Cold War circa 1980s up until the near future.
Manuel Noriega was the former dictator of Panama from 1983 until he was removed from power in 1989 during Operation Just Cause. After his capture, he was convicted in the United States for drug trafficking before being extradited to France in 2007 were he was convicted of money laundering. He was extradited to Panama in 2011 were he was tried and convicted of crimes against humanity.
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