“No Doubt” is suing Band Hero (and Guitar Hero) maker Activision over their appearance in the game (GameSpy).
Allegedly, the band’s contract with Activision dictates that the band member’s avatars can only be used on their own songs, but they are fully playable characters in the game. This means that players can appear as say, Gwen Stefani on any song in the game.
Apparently this is damaging to the members of “No Doubt.”
Someone screwed up badly, and only time will tell who it was. Either…
- “No Doubt’s” lawyers dropped the ball or…
- Activision breached their contract.
I don’t know how it actually went down, but either way, this is pathetic.
At the end of the day, I don’t see how the members of “No Doubt” are actually damaged and deserving of financial reward on account of this, but I’m sure their lawyers would be happy to explain why I’m wrong. By the same token, Activision needs to get their shit together and make sure that the artists that they put in their games understand, and are happy with their role within it, as the very same thing happened with Guitar Hero 5, and their use of Kurt Cobain.
Speaking of the late Mr. Cobain…
Cobain’s wife Courtney Love complained that the ability for players to use Cobain on any song in the game, including a lot of pop and electro-crap that he probably would hate was damaging to his legacy. Normally I would agree. Cobain was a revolutionary figure in music, popular culture, hell, culture in general. Having him play a song like “Play That Funky Music” is degrading. Then I saw this commercial for Nicktoons that is set to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Sorry, I can’t embed this one, but it’s worth watching).*
I’m sure that the same lawyer who approved the deal with Activision over Cobain’s appearance along with the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in Guitar Hero 5, had to approve the deal with Nicktoons as well. I can’t imagine that Cobain would have liked that commercial.
So, “No Doubt” & Courtney Love, let’s cut this shit out. Everyone got paid and these games introduce the music of “No Doubt” and Nirvana to a younger generation. Everyone is making money, and that’s all that you folks really want at this point.
* That commercial really does break my heart.