The court case between Activision and the band "No Doubt" over Band Hero will be heard by a jury, according to a 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 had "genuine disputes" that a jury should consider. The claims against Activision that the judge 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 2009, claiming the publisher had no right to use 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." No Doubt band members were only to be used in the songs they had provided for the game, those being "Just a Girl," "Don't Speak," and "Excuse Me Mr."
Activision countersued No Doubt a month later, saying in the Hollywood Reporter that 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. Later that year No Doubt won a partial victory with a judge rejecting Activision's invoking of a freedom of speech defense in the case.
Jeffery McFarland, who represents Activision, said the company has a strong defense and is looking forward to presenting it during trial. During the hearing, he said the company had a video recording of the band being told about the game's unlockable features. The band's attorney Bert Deixler said the ruling "seemed inevitable" and noted No Doubt has repeatedly won the right to pursue the case, in both state and appellate courts.
Either way, we'll keep you posted over the next few months! Thoughts on the matter? Put em in the comments section!