The band No Doubt has settled a lawsuit over the video game Band Hero and alleged unauthorized likenesses of No Doubt band members used in the Activision title.
The lawsuit No Doubt settled echoed a similar situation with the game Guitar Hero and the likeness of dead rocker Kurt Cobain. Cobain’s widow Courtney Love complained after the game’s release that the avatar of Cobain — who was notoriously uncomfortable with the unbridled use of his work and the fame that came along with his success — could be used to play songs by other bands, bands of which Cobain would have been unlikely to cover in real life.
It seems some of No Doubt’s settled lawsuit, one that was filed a day after Band Hero‘s November 2009 release, centers around the same concept. Likenesses of the No Doubt members could be used to play songs by other bands, including the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Woman.” The band also noted that the game could be used to have musician Tony Kanal sing No Doubt’s hit “Just A Girl” in Gwen Stefani’s voice.
In their complaint in the No Doubt Activision lawsuit, the band alleged that the game’s treatment of their likenesses transformed the pop ska outfit into a “virtual karaoke circus act.” Bloomberg reports:
“The band sued Activision Publishing Inc. over a feature in the game that allows players to perform the songs of other artists using the likenesses of No Doubt front woman Gwen Stefani and other band members… Activision had denied all wrongdoing and argued the idea of “unlocking” unadvertised features of a video game has been around since the early days of the industry.”
After No Doubt settled the lawsuit, terms of the agreement were not made public.