Maroon 5's Levine Sues Over Band Hero Avatar

August 5, 2011 -

Activision's Band Hero is the focus of a new lawsuit filed by Maroon 5 front man and coach on NBC's hit reality series "The Voice" Adam Levine.

Levine filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, claiming that the game exploits his name and likeness beyond what he had agreed to when he signed his deal with Activision. According to the suit Levine inked a deal to allow Activision to use the Maroon 5 song "She Will Be Loved" for the game, and performed the song for motion-capture so his avatar could be created.

Band Hero allows that Levine avatar to sing along to 60 other songs by other musicians, which "would not have been chosen by him for recordings or performances." The feature also lets users make Levine's avatar sing the songs in voices other than his own, "including female voices."

The suit alleges that Activision sought permission from other artists for the expanded useand  paid other artists a higher fee than he received to participate in the game. Levine is suing for fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, violation of the common-law right of publicity, and unfair business acts or practices. He is seeking unspecified damages.

You may recall that Courtney Love, the widow of Kurt Cobain, railed against Activision because Guitar Hero 5 allowed the Cobain avatar to sings songs other than his own.

Source: Gamasutra by way E. Zachary Knight

 


Comments

Re: Maroon 5's Levine Sues Over Band Hero Avatar

No Doubt sued Activision for the same thing.  Although, they were a bit more timely with their suit.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Maroon 5's Levine Sues Over Band Hero Avatar

Sorry, didn't Band Hero come out something like a hundred years ago? Surely there should be a time limit on this sort of thing.

/b

Re: Maroon 5's Levine Sues Over Band Hero Avatar

What a wuss. He sold his likeness to be used in the game, if Activision wants to allow players to stick him in a dress and sing "girls just wanna have fun" they should be able to do whatever they want. He gave them a picture of himself, he has no control over what that fan does with it once they take it home, even if it's unpleasant.

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

Re: Maroon 5's Levine Sues Over Band Hero Avatar

That is easy for you to say. As a famous musician his very image has value. He allowed his likeness to be used in Guitar Hero in exchange for a fee, the way his likeness could be used was spelled out in his contract. If his contract was violated by the way his likeness was used not only can he sue but he SHOULD sue. They are trading on his and other artist's fame. There is value in that. There may be more value in allowing the use of the avatar with other songs. If so they need to pay for that and stipulate those uses in the contract, not contract for one thing and then turn around and do another, hoping the artist just won't notice or care. That is BS. Here in America you need to pay to play, you want to increase your product's value by trading on someone else's value? Then pay the man.

"He gave them a picture of himself, he has no control over what that fan does with it once they take it home, even if it's unpleasant."

He has total control. His deal was not with the fans of guitar hero, it was with the developer of Guitar Hero. If they went further than what was stipulated in his contract they need to pay.

Re: Maroon 5's Levine Sues Over Band Hero Avatar

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