Activision vs. No Doubt case to be heard by jury

Los Angeles judge denies publisher's wishes to dismiss several claims stemming from Band Hero suit, trial expected to commence later this year.


The court case between Activision and the Gwen Stefani-fronted rock band No Doubt over Band Hero will be heard by a jury, according to an Associated Press report. Superior Court judge Ramona See on Tuesday denied a motion by Activision's legal team to dismiss several claims from the proceedings, and noted the case boasted "genuine disputes" that a jury should consider.

A jury will decide a winner in the No Doubt vs. Activision case.
A jury will decide a winner in the No Doubt vs. Activision case.

The claims against Activision that See refused to toss out were for fraud, violation of publicity rights, and breach of contract. The case is expected to go to trial later this year.

No Doubt sued Activision in November 2009, claiming the publisher had no contractual right to allow the group's in-game avatars to be used to perform other artists' songs. The band took exception in its suit with having individual band members perform other artists' songs, particularly those that include suggestive lyrics such as The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women." The suit claims this action turns the band "into a virtual karaoke circus act."

Activision countersued No Doubt a month later, saying it is "publicly known" that characters in previous Guitar Hero games have been "unlockable" in the same fashion, suggesting No Doubt did not exercise due diligence before entering into the agreement.

And later that year, No Doubt won a partial victory in the case, with a judge rejecting Activision's invoking of a freedom of speech defense in the case. That wasn't the only setback Activision has suffered in the case, as a previous attempt to have the matter bumped up to a federal court was also rejected.

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