Courtney Love to sue over Guitar Hero 5

Anyone who has picked up the latest Guitar Hero 5 may have noticed Kurt Cobain's likeness making an appearance, along with two Nirvana songs "Lithium" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit." However a post by blogger Everett True highlighted that the Cobain avatar can be used to play any number of songs...

Anyone who has picked up the latest Guitar Hero 5 may have noticed Kurt Cobain's likeness making an appearance, along with two Nirvana songs "Lithium" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit." However a post by blogger Everett True highlighted that the Cobain avatar can be used to play any number of songs in the game, some of which put the late singer in some rather uncharacteristic poses, with some even seeing him rapping.

Now, Cobain's widow Courtney Love has apparently spoken out against the use of the singer's image in the game on Twitter.A 70-post rant on the feed of user courtneylover79 (which has been purporting to be that of Love for months) claims, "FOR THE RECORD I DID NOT APPROVE KURTS AVATAR FOR GUYITARHERO5." It adds thatshe loathes the game and finds it "odious," as well as suggesting that Cobain would "despise this game" and his representation in it. This comes contrary to reports that Love, former bandmate Dave Grohl, and Universal publishing all signed off on the deal with Activision.

The tirade of posts, some of which verge on nonsensical, also threatens legal action against Activision. She also mentions that she "saw a piece of the [Cobain] avatar on the nightly news I actually had to vomit."

Despite denying any involvement with the game, another of the posts says "i was forced with literally a GUN to sell RIGHTS ask KARSH and MESTEL why teh f**k activision has a f*****g moving avatar," though it is not clear whether this refers directly to the game or overall rights to Cobain's estate. The feed acknowledges being involved in the approval process for the avatar, but courtneylover79 that she was only doing so to "drag [her] heels" and had no intention of approving it.

[UPDATE] Blogger Everett True has since responded to Love's Twitter musings, many of which were in response to a blog post of his highlighting the below video. True said he has it "on good authority" that Love "owns the rights to Kurt's image and likeness" and that her action to sue was "odd."

[UPDATE 2] Activision has since responded to the above claims, stating that Cobain's estate, and specifically Courtney Love, did in fact sign off on having the late artist appear in Guitar Hero 5. "Guitar Hero secured the necessary licensing rights from the Cobain estate in a written agreement signed by Courtney Love to use Kurt Cobain's likeness as a fully playable character in Guitar Hero 5," the publisher said in a statement.

The video brought to light by blogger Everett True that was the source of the controversy.

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360 comments
xboxgamer5
xboxgamer5

Honestly, Courtney Love is crazy. If Dave Grohl and the producers say its okay, why does his wife have to get into it?

coolguy45
coolguy45

I hate guitar hero but I'm not saying everyone has to agree with me, it's just my opinion

dyaballikl
dyaballikl

this is significant for the 5 people too stupid to play rock band 2 who play guitar hero 5.

Cheinei
Cheinei

She's obviously butthurt.

syco_coaster
syco_coaster

@ anyone who can't understand why people play rhythm games: TO HAVE FUN. I know it's incomprehensible to you that someone could enjoy something that you don't, but it happens every day. GET OVER IT.

melisa06
melisa06

Wow very nice thank you.. sesli sohbet sesli chat

gtaproz
gtaproz

I mean, it is inhumane to own the property and likeness of someone who is dead when you killed them in the first place!!! I agree that Cobain wouldn't have liked it but it would be up to him, not his drugged wife.

gtaproz
gtaproz

where was she when cobain died? o ya, right in his face

Viralmessiah666
Viralmessiah666

Kurt would have thought this was freakin hilarious,embarassing yes,but Kurt was never above embarassing himself for the sake of comedy

P90E21
P90E21

And this years emo. award goes tooooo.

pure_impact
pure_impact

its just a damn game, who the hell cares what avatar sings what? i mean c'mon people! stop taking yourselves too seriously with the nitpicking already.

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

So the two options I see are 1: It's not really her making the posts and 2: she got utterly stoned/smashed/drunk/etc and tried to type that message in a fit of drunken rage. There's no way you can accidentally misspell guitar as "GUYITAR" without being either a total moron or impaired.

Jackmac36
Jackmac36

"GUYITARHERO5", I think that about says it all...

CaesarSteiner
CaesarSteiner

Personally, I don't see any reason to invest the time in learning to actually play an instrument if all you're going to do is play other people's music, since you're not expressing yourself any more than you are playing Guitar Hero just because you're using a real instrument.

CaesarSteiner
CaesarSteiner

Personally, I don't see any reason to invest the time in learning to actually play an instrument if all you're going to do is play other people's music, since you're not expressing yourself any more than you are playing Guitar Hero just because you're using a real instrument.

dark_surge
dark_surge

I can see how Activision would re-word the contract they proposed to Courtney to make it seem nice than it really was. If they said "We would like to make a fully playable likeness of Curt to appear GH5" it would be misleading. It's one thing to make him "fully playable" while singing his own music, but making him sing Blink 182 or AFI would be an insult to him. I don't own GH5, but I'm using my own experience in GHWT of seeing Ozzy sing pretty much anything but his own music. It just doesn't work, it just looks funny. And although I'm not that big of a Nirvana fan, if I were Kurt I'd be rolling in my grave.

Spincut
Spincut

Let's just get something straight, Courtney Love, an "odious person" by her own right, finds something else odious? Also, if she has so much legal right to him, how exactly did she end up being in opposition to something she clearly signed off on? Oh wait, that's right, she "literally" was forced to do it via a "gun', and then was forced to her only outlet to respond, by waiting until the game came out some time later, and then whining about it in a "tweet" on her" twitter-o-sphere". This is why I hate, twitter, Courtney Love, and all people under the denomination of "stupid".

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@DaSlyOne -"" I think you need to re-read my post.

DaSlyOne
DaSlyOne

@parrot_of_adun Your reasoning sux. Why would anyone want to play any game for that matter? Games enable people to do things they normally can't do or wouldn't do. Why do people like to shoot and kill people in games without actually shooting and killing people? If you can understand that, then you should have no problem understanding why someone would want to play music without actually playing music - Because IT'S JUST A GAME! Fine, you don't like the game (I doubt you ever tried it). That doesn't mean the millions that do enjoy it are a bunch of idiots. For most, they aren't looking to actually invest the time to learn to play the instrument. They just want to enjoy faking it. No one is forcing you to buy the game so why does it even matter? Have you ever learned an instrument? I didn't have what you would call FUN learning the piano when I was growing up. I would have rather been out playing with my friends than practicing piano. I agree it did come in handy though, it helped me get this chick once. As far as creating something for a change...what have YOU created while playing ANY game besides a few extra fat cells?

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@BlazeODU Actually I have no idea how to play a guitar, I just can't understand why someone would want to play music without (well that and rhythm games aren't worth money IMO). Plus, with a REAL instrument, you can have fun learning to play. But you also gain a skill which can come in handy in all sorts of ways. Besides, you can create something for a change.

Kyleve
Kyleve

Well, i gotta say all i saw in that video is a animated image that resembles someone that could really need throat lasage..... People are so anal now a days, what happended to "oh that looks cool, i want that in my game!!" All everyone does is complain about Guitar hero games and frankly whats there to complain about? ITS A GAME, if a game is gonna bother you this much in life id like to see how you make a liveing.

Bacob
Bacob

First point, I think Gutiar hero is great, its the classic band game. Secondly, I didn't ever read that "CourtneyLover69" was actually Courtney Love. A counter-argument is that if it wasn't her she would of spoken out. But there are many reasons to why she may of either not heard of this yet, or is ignoring it and letting it proceed. Thirdly, the stupid red-neck signed a CONTRACT!! READ the contract and if theres something you don't understand about a character bieng an avatar in Guitar Hero, then PLAY THE GAME. Or at least ask what his avatar would do EXACTLY. She was stupid and thats just it, don't whine where you are at fault.

dark_surge
dark_surge

It just depends on how you look at it. On one hand, Courtney is more than likely telling the truth when she says that Kurt wouldn't want to be seen in GH in the first place...let alone singing rap music and other genres other than his own. He's now being portrayed singing the same music he was "rebelling" against with his music. But that's a given. Kind of how Ozzy looks goofy singing just about anything other than his own music in World Tour. In that sense, she has all the right to be ticked off. I would be too if I let a company use the likeness of my wife/husband (pretending they're a famous singer) with the assumption it would be sort of a tribute to them but instead to end up seeing them being inaccurately portrayed in a way that they wouldn't act like or approve of. Now with that being said...one the other hand she DID sign a contract with a big name company without giving any restrictions to what they could or could not do. I'm sure if she would have thought it through she could have made the request that Kurt was ONLY to be shown singing his own music and this whole thing could have been avoided. But since she didn't she allowed a company with no real interest in Kurt's best interest or to keep his likeness true to his real life counterpart to do whatever they want with him. Sorry for the length. I just wanted to put both sides of the story into perspective.

BlazeODU
BlazeODU

@parrot_of_adun Yes, we'll all admit it, Guitar Hero 5 really REALLY suks, mostly because this one has the worst track list available in the series. But the reason why we've been playing sequel after sequel was NOT because they updated gameplay, we didn't give a fudge about that, we just wanted to see what songs would be on the game. This version of the game may have had a major overhaul in gameplay, but a terrible track list is inexcusable. I haven't even HEARD of most of these bands and most their music is baaaaaaad. And BTW, by telling us to learn how to play the guitar, I can safely assume that you've learned how to play one already. That's the reason why you don't like Guitar Hero, because anyone who knows how to play Guitar and then plays Guitar Hero or Rock Band, is going to slowly lose their ability to play the real guitar, I've seen in happen first hand. We play Guitar Hero so that we don't HAVE to learn how to play the real deal, we just play it to have fun, and that's what the games have been providing us for the past 3/4 years.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

Wow... for the first time, I agree with courtney (well, a small part of what she said anyway, the rest is garbage). GH is is some of the worst gaming has to offer and SOMEHOW you all love it. Even after they recycle the same game for the 5th time you're all eating it up. Why the hell can't you guys just LEARN TO PLAY THE DAMN GUITAR!?

Bevmo
Bevmo

i hate courtney love, that ---- hired somebody to kill kurt. what a loser, she makes me sick!

PrimeLazarus
PrimeLazarus

@happyfatman021 Everyone is not like you... Selling out is making the songs the producers want you to make. Selling out is doing what your corporate investors want you to do that makes them more money---it's not about expressing your own artistic interests (especially if that means making drastic changes to your style). Selling out is about having TV shows censor your lyrics , or lip-sync a song on stage so that the artist can stay busy looking cool and smiling for the cameras. Selling out is about giving up the control of your art and the direction of it so that some other group of guys can exploit the image and the sound you make. It's very simple. You can't claim that a group is selling out because they earn money from it--as long as they are still in control of the songs they want to play and the records they want to make--they haven't sold out. It has less to do with money and more to do with artistic license. You can be fundamentally 'sold out' if you form your art around the basis of earning money, but most people who make music have a passion for it anyway--so those two just go hand in hand. Everyone does have to eat, so if you think making some money off of something you do well and enjoy is reason enough to call someone a sell out---then YES--by your definition EVERYONE would be a sell out, but that's just not how it's defined. Money has a part in it--but artistic control is the key issue.

gamepunk86
gamepunk86

i hate her, man she is worse than paris hilton and that's saying something

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

leave our man alone Love, actually Hole sucks big time. i'm all up to see Kurt again in GH5.

Dark5tar1
Dark5tar1

wow courtney u ***** what about robot chicken with his suicide. just sayin and agreein with everyone else by the way what is with the skeleton drummer?

XXMadManVII
XXMadManVII

Kurt should have used that shotty on this crazy cooz before turning it on himself. What a waste of skin... If I am not mistaken, The rights to Kurt Cobain's estate transfers to his kid, Francis Bean, on her 18th birthday. That day cant be to far off.... Love has to be s**ting kittens knowing that huge source of income is about to disappear... cause from what I have read, Francis Bean HATES her and blames her for not having a father....

eldin4444
eldin4444

Oh ok I get it she tough that an avatar was a still image and no a animated one.... why she didn't leave all the reading and paper work for her lawyer

eldin4444
eldin4444

That junkie can get anyone out of its nerves, she signed a contract where she agree that Curts image can be used in the game and now that the game is making money she Sue??, she dosnt have that level of stupidity other idiot is asesoring her demands.

necronaux
necronaux

Such an intellegent, well-spoken, young lady. I'm shocked they'd do this to her. (NOT!) She's making tons of money, what's she complaining about? She had years to resolve any 'issues', but now the game's out... sue, sue, sue. If she wasn't so braindead from all the drugs, she's relaize that people just want her to go away. I hate to write it, but we're all thinking it... the wrong one in that family passed-away.

Icehearted
Icehearted

@jamesh-42 I know all about fair use laws. I was more about pointing out that there was a brief but cruel joke on Robot Chicken depicting his suicide and as far as I know she's never said a word about it. Whereas, although creepy, this image of Kurt seems more about capitalizing on his image. One just seems more messed up than the other, but she didn't say a word about it.

Xaviersx
Xaviersx

I would hope she wasn't the one reading through the contracts, all that legal language is best left to her lawyer. No not that lawyer, I mean the one that overseas her business legal affairs. Then he or she could have explained to Courtney that the game publisher had either vague or specific references to how they would use character likenesses. Now, as a court remedy, would she seek that the game publisher issues a patch to take away said functions, halt current sales, replace product with modified one, . . . or pay her more money?

chitarralove
chitarralove

I think there may have been a small misunderstanding on the part of Courtney Love, however she had to have signed the contract. Activision would not have gone forth with any thing that wasn't legal. There have been many games created under the Activision name, and they know the process of legality. It seems that the biggest issue here is not that she signed off on the contract, but that she's getting bad publicity for it. If it weren't causing such great controversy, she wouldn't feel so strongly about it. Giving her the benefit of the doubt maybe she just didn't understand the contract. In that case she should view this as a learning experience, and be more careful in reading though contracts before she signs them.

majere613
majere613

Well, isn't this interesting. I commented previously that the problem here was that it wasn't made clear how Kurt's image would be used, now we have this: "While we were aware of Kurt's image being used with two Nirvana songs, we didn't know players have the ability to unlock the character," from Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl. This is not about whether or not Courtney's a flake, it's about how honest Activision were about what they were going to do. ref: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8249994.stm

Xaviersx
Xaviersx

Frankly, I find Courtney odious, and probably in a stupor she did sign a contract for big bucks to not only license said music but likeness as well. I do doubt Kurt prior to his death would have licensed music and likeness to a game franchise, especially to take liberties with the avatars, nor probably would have allowed the current MTV to be a vehicle for Nirvana's video's/music but that's a scenario that can't be truly played out for what the band members would do over time if he had lived on. As for Courtney, the less I say about her, the better.

so_hai
so_hai

She really wishes it was HER in the game I think. But we all know she's about as talented as Moleman from the Simpsons.

jamesh-42
jamesh-42

@Icehearted: you don't need permission for satire, so Love wouldn't have been in a position to approve/deny an appearance in something like Robot Chicken. Comedy would be pretty boring if you could only make fun of public figures with their permission.

spOOoOOn
spOOoOOn

heh, crazy ol' courtney is at it again with her attentionmoaning

fastman309
fastman309

You know, when ever nirvana lisences a song, and if courtney isn't getting paid, she rants and raves about sueing. remember the box set of nirvana a few years backa nd she took the former band members to court? She's probably just pissed because neversoft didn't want hole in GH5.

Holyknight_CJ
Holyknight_CJ

I doubt Kurt would want this. Also the fact that a depictions of a dead singer looks zombie-like at time is a tad creepy. On the other hand seeing Kurt rap Flava Flav's part in Bring the Noise was hilarious. The 'YEAH BOY' part in particular. :lol:

acer360
acer360

that is just stupid you can't own somebody's image and likeness WTF ? *cough* *cough* B***h *cough* *cough*