$250 million GTA: San Andreas lawsuit fails

Appeals court judge denies supposed Cypress Hill backup singer's claims that Rockstar used his likeness as model for CJ character.

Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive has won a lawsuit over Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, writes The Hollywood Reporter. An appellate court judge on Wednesday denied supposed Cypress Hill backup singer Michael "Shagg" Washington's claims that Rockstar used his life story and physical appearance as a basis for protagonist Carl "CJ" Johnson. Cypress Hill denies any association with Washington.

Washington sued Take-Two in 2010 for $250 million, alleging that during the course of the game's development, he met with Rockstar to discuss details regarding his former life as a gang member. He even provided the company with a photo of himself and his name appears in the GTA: San Andreas credits.

However, a judge did not find this to be enough, and a California appeals court has concurred. Washington's principal problem was that he could not prove it was his likeness that appeared in San Andreas. The judge said, "Plaintiff is relying entirely on CJ's physical appearance in the game, but that appearance is so generic that it necessarily includes hundreds of other black males."

Additionally, the judge ruled that even if Rockstar did base CJ on Washington, it would have been protected as transformative fair use. This is an argument based on the fact that the First Amendment allows existing materials, including images, to be used so long as they are amended enough for a new purpose.

"Washington has presented no evidence demonstrating that the plot or characters of GTA: San Andreas have any relevance to his life or his purported fame," a statement from the decision reads.

[CORRECTION] According to a tweet from Cypress Hill, Washington is not affiliated with the band. GameSpot regrets the error.

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Discussion

0 comments
DEagle267
DEagle267

Guess it was worth a shot, even if it did take him 7-8 years to find out they supposedly based the game on his appearance and story lol.

BigAl519
BigAl519

Hey look! Another moronic celebrity/musician who have used up all their money and are looking for any way possible to get some back!

ThyDavideth
ThyDavideth

Dumb a$$ gangbangers! Don't you realize that a lot of you come from a similar background of drugs and violence. Why don't you morons just sue each other for subconscious emulation?  

Justinps2hero
Justinps2hero

Funniest lawsuit EVER!

Did he bring evidence  of mass murdering gang members to back up said claims? Brilliant, what a dope.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Much as I totally, totally agree with the ruling, what the judge said was a bit brave wasn't it?

 

You know, because "they all look the same" as the saying might go..... some people are gonna jump all over that statement, it's inevitable.

scatterbrain007
scatterbrain007

I thought CJ was based on the guy that actually voiced him in the game.  Young Maylay right?

farcorners
farcorners

If I had a chicken in my yard, could I sue KFC?

Kingjames11
Kingjames11

I once jumped a dirt bike off this really tall mountain with a parachute strapped to my back. Should I sue?

Saladudo
Saladudo

"...thousands...", from the W-POV

skipper847
skipper847

I hope Take 2 sued them for time waisting.

hardeman
hardeman

HD remake of vice city pretty please!!!

murderdoll82
murderdoll82

I always thought God of war was based on my balding dad. I want to sue sony!

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

Reminds me of the Simpson's episode when Bart was accused of being head of the Mob. After watching the movie based on it, homer asks "When do we get paid for this?" Marge replies "they said they changed it enough that they don't  have to pay us".  - probably the same thing here.

HSV002
HSV002

HD remake of GTA SA anyone? I'm very keen for it even though i think it is a pipe dream.

Granpire
Granpire

Wow, he isn't even associated with the band? That's just doubly wrong.

botswanky
botswanky

Maybe if his lawyer had advised him to pursue a more reasonable sum of money? 250 million? c'mon, what a joke.  

Dark_December
Dark_December

I neeeeed a dolla, dolla, dolla that's what I need and if I share with you my story , would you share your dolla with me?

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

He wanted 250 million dollars because he thought the character resembled him and his life? Ok. I think this guy has an ego problem.

IevildirkI
IevildirkI

CJ is based on me cus i murder people, lie, cheat, steal, do drugs, and pick up hookers. Where is my millions?

 

RiP_ili
RiP_ili

I started out in the hood, with a bicycle. I sometimes wear a wife-beater, and I love me some hot coffee. Maybe I've got a case too.

RiKanKiDD
RiKanKiDD

Will the real slim shady please stand up

Divine_Stryph
Divine_Stryph

HA HA. Back-up singer trying to get paid. I'm not mad at him for trying. Seriously.

King_Jeremy_77
King_Jeremy_77

Been told i look like Ezio, maybe i should sue Ubisoft lol

fredwv
fredwv

I've been told I look a lot like Duke Nukem,..   

Justforvisit
Justforvisit

I DO look like the PS3! Sony, I want my money back!

gplayer5
gplayer5

Just another nut trying to scam money out of a huge corporation (a.k.a. business as usual lol). He seriously thought he would win a case like that?.... -_-

LJMStrike
LJMStrike

well that is insane in the membrane ;-)

 

Just herd Samuel L Jackson is suing Rockstar for his likeness to officer Ten Penny in the Game :-D 

Wesleypipes777
Wesleypipes777

Judge says "How can you tell? They all look alike to me!!" 

RE2LeonS
RE2LeonS

LOL whoops! Well that was fast, what a grade-A loser.

adrian_cortez94
adrian_cortez94

man, makuch. can you change the title of the article? you're giving cypress hill a bad rep.

Numbuh277
Numbuh277

sounds like cypress hill needs a little pocket change since they are broke.

simon1812
simon1812

CJ does kind of look like Shagg, but since they r both walking stereotypes it doesnt matter :D

Skyrim25
Skyrim25

Why are rappers so obsessed with gangster crap? Is being a self centered, drug using, and killing for stupid sh*t that 5 year olds call honor (basiclly a gangster) really something to be proud of?

Fowsed
Fowsed

aw shit... I remember pretending I was CJ at school... fuck, I gota run to Mexico

EliOli
EliOli

Rats...  I was going to sue them because a character looked like me.  Well that blows it then.

wexorian
wexorian

Racist judge and Idiot man who tryng to make easy money, he Tried to use Thughtools to Robe bank but did not worked seems.

Mr357Magnum
Mr357Magnum

 @LJMStrike Oh how it almost makes you want to kill a man, which is something i can't understand

adrian_cortez94
adrian_cortez94

oh wow.... forgot to read the last line... whew,  thought cypress hill sold the fuck out.

southsideblk
southsideblk

 @Skyrim25 if you honestly think all rappers are about the gangster culture then you need to get out more. Basing your opinion on a small group makes you look ignorant, what rapper have you ever heard of condoning killing kids and doing drugs ?? nearly ALL rappers regardless of lyrics are against harming others. Just because they rap about the REAL world doesnt make them wrong, there are crack addicts, meth addicts, heroine addicts, and every type of addict that exist in the real world, just because you choose too pretend its not there doesnt make it so. You cannot fault rappers for using crime based lyrics, especially if that what sells to young whites, latins, asians, and blacks. They are in the business of making money, in case you haven't noticed, drama, violence, crime, etc sells. The most watched shows on television, walking dead, sons of anarchy, boardwalk empire, and breaking bad have more killing and crime than any rap song. All of those shows have little black presence, but they sell because people of today. People who think like you are luckily dying out, just because its not your cup of tea doesn't make it stupid shit, it called entertainment for a reason. People look at his/her name for christ sakes lmao, "Skyrim" a game i LOVE but welcomes you with a beheading. Hypocrisy much ??

Kickable
Kickable

 @Skyrim25 it's what they grow up next to, do you expect them to go research and drop rhymes about the refined sensibilities of Victorian era Britain?  they're writing songs to make money, about harsh lifestyles with very little rules and people taking what they want.  they're exploiting all of society's already existing obsession with gangs & crime.

Benficafan_101
Benficafan_101

 @Skyrim25  There's a lot that aren't"gangsters" don't stereotype a music genre that you obviously don't listen to