Poor Guitar Hero. All they want to do is show cartoons of rock stars bouncing around and having fun, and now everyone's gotta get all uptight about it.
First Activision, Guitar Hero's maker, had to weather a storm about their use of an animated rendition of Kurt Cobain. And now Gwen Stefani is getting all worked about about the fact that the cartoon version of her does things that she says the real Gwen would never ever do, like sing about having sex with prostitutes. Sure you wouldn't Gwen...
Stefani and her band No Doubt have filed a suit against Activision stating that the gamemaker's use of their likenesses goes way beyond what the band signed off on and that the game has "transformed No Doubt band members into a virtual karaoke circus act," which is certainly something no band likes.
The suit also charges that the game allows users to manipulate their characters to sing songs popularized by other pop music acts. No Doubt's contract with Activision allowed the company to use the band's music and likenesses in no more than three of the band's own songs, the suit states. The game, which was released Tuesday, puts the group members' images, collectively and individually, into more than 60 songs, "many of which include lyrics, contained in iconic songs, which are not appropriate for No Doubt and have not been and would not have been chosen by No Doubt for recordings or public performances."
Specifically, the suit notes that through the game's Character Manipulation Feature, Stefani's image can be induced to sing the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women." "While No Doubt are avid fans of the Rolling Stones and even have performed in concerts with the Rolling Stones," the complaint states, "the Character Manipulation Feature results in an unauthorized performance by the Gwen Stefani avatar in a male voice boasting about having sex with prostitutes." It also states that bassist Kanal's likeness can be manipulated to sing, in a female voice, one of No Doubt's signature hits, "Just a Girl."
The suit asks for punitive damages and seeks to take the No Doubt edition off the market, which will create someday a red hot bootleg market of illegal Stefani avatars being made to dance to "Party in the USA". interrupting Taylor Swift acceptance speeches and belt out "Pokerface" in Portugese.