Former Panama Dictator Sues Activision Over Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Former Panama Dictator Sues Activision Over Call of Duty: Black Ops II

black ops ii noriega

Former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega alleges Activision used his likeness without his permission.

Manuel Noriega, the dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989, filed a lawsuit yesterday in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Activision for depicting him and using his name without his permission in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

Noriega alleges Activision portrays him as "a kidnapper, murderer, and enemy of state" in Black Ops II. Noriega is seeking lost profits and damages for Activison's use of Noriega's likeness. The lawsuit states Activision Noriega was used "to heighten realism" in the game and increase sales.

In Black Ops II, Noriega helps the CIA capture main antagonist Raul Menendez before he switches his allegiance and aids Menendez.

The U.S. invaded Panama in 1989, removing Noriega from power, although the U.S. aided Noriega in the past, and he was on CIA payroll. He was tried and sent to prison in 1992 for drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering for nearly two decades. He has lived in Panama since 2011 as a conditional release.

Noriega's lawsuit is the latest among public figures accusing video game companies of using their likeness without permission. Actress Lindsay Lohan recently sued Rockstar over character likeness.

Black Ops II also included a character who resembled former U.S. General David Petraeus. Coming under scrutiny for this shortly after the game's release in 2012, Activision stated, Petraeus hadn't been paid, wasn't involved in the creation of Black Ops II and that "it was clear to game players that this character and others that are based on real-life figures are fantasy."

Source: LA Times

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I'm pretty sure the reason why anyone bought the game was not because he was in it.

roseofbattle:
The lawsuit states Activision Noriega was used "to heighten realism" in the game and increase sales.

So Raul really exists then?

Seriously though, CoD BlOps 2 isn't realistic, and I'm pretty sure the game itself knows it.

Bolt-206:

roseofbattle:
The lawsuit states Activision Noriega was used "to heighten realism" in the game and increase sales.

So Raul really exists then?
Seriously though, CoD BlOps 2 isn't realistic, and I'm pretty sure the game itself knows it.

They certainly know that - but if it's about what little story they DO have, realism is still a good addition to it. And in this case, it made a bit sense. Similar with Fidel Castro in the Prologue of BO1. (Less so with Castro in the Zombie-Map. Then again... Castro teaming up with Kennedy, McNamara and Nixon to fight Zombies? Too awesome to make sense.)

I'm pretty sure I didn't buy BLOPS 2 because of my insatiable lust for Central American "bad guy" characters.

No, wait, I did! OH EM GEE SOMEBODAY GIVE THIS MAN ALL THE MONEY

Wow. How many more video games will be sued for allegedly using a persons likeness? Uncharted? Mario?

If this were to succeed then Hitler is gonna become one of the richest men in the history of the world. Does he have any surviving family to cash in on it? Even a distant cousin would work.

Paradox SuXcess:
Wow. How many more video games will be sued for allegedly using a persons likeness? Uncharted? Mario?

Well, in this case there is actually something to it since the character in BlOps 2 isn't just vaguely similar in traits and appearance, it really is supposed to be Noriega, albeit a fictionalized version as seen through CoD vision.

Noriega alleges Activision portrays him as "a kidnapper, murderer, and enemy of state" in Black Ops II.

Sadly, he has never been convicted of any of these, so he can claim innocence and there's not much there can be done about it, but knowing you don't become a dictator by being a nice guy, there is no doubt in my mind Noriega is guilty of all of it and much worse.

The lawsuit states Activision Noriega was used "to heighten realism" in the game and increase sales.

It's this part that is pretty ridiculous. The "heighten realism" claim is feasibly true, but increase sales? Most of the audience for CoD wasn't even born back when Noriega was still relevant. It's not like there is a blurb on the back of the game touting "Includes Manuel Noriega[1]!" and if there was, most people would just ask "Who?".

[1] Now with radical karate chop action.

Geez, I feel bad for the mass-murdering opressive dictator that had his likeness used without fair compensation.
Does Activision's evil know no boundaries?!

Chimpzy:

Paradox SuXcess:
Wow. How many more video games will be sued for allegedly using a persons likeness? Uncharted? Mario?

Well, in this case there is actually something to it since the character in BlOps 2 isn't just vaguely similar in traits and appearance, it really is supposed to be Noriega, albeit a fictionalized version as seen through CoD vision.

Noriega alleges Activision portrays him as "a kidnapper, murderer, and enemy of state" in Black Ops II.

Sadly, he has never been convicted of any of these, so he can claim innocence and there's not much there can be done about it, but knowing you don't become a dictator by being a nice guy, there is no doubt in my mind Noriega is guilty of all of it and much worse.

The lawsuit states Activision Noriega was used "to heighten realism" in the game and increase sales.

It's this part that is pretty ridiculous. The "heighten realism" claim is feasibly true, but increase sales? Most of the audience for CoD wasn't even born back when Noriega was still relevant. It's not like there is a blurb on the back of the game touting "Includes Manuel Noriega[1]!" and if there was, most people would just ask "Who?".

Eh, I actually sort of got interested in the Black Ops game because they explore some lesser known territories of recent US history (albeit in a complete batshit manner), so I guess he has a point.

Also, i figure if Oliver North is allowed to make money of this game, then Noriega might as well.

[1] Now with radical karate chop action.

There's only one way to settle this.

Epic Rap Battles of History.

Manuel Noriega Vs. Bobby Kotick.

Let the people decide.

This reminds me of Mercenaries 2 and how the Venezuelan government at the time was offended because the dev team used to make military training aids.

I doubt this will amount to anything. He's a public fucking figure. There have been countless public figures used for historical fiction, which technically Black Ops II is, at least for the part of the game he's in. Not to mention the fact that he's not even the first political figure in the series to appear. Even more, no one is playing this game under the pretense that it's in any way a factual take on history. Suffice it to say, this is fucking dumb.

murder, supression, corruption and drug trafficking are nothing compared to copyright infringement

Johnny Novgorod:
This reminds me of Mercenaries 2 and how the Venezuelan government at the time was offended because the dev team used to make military training aids.

dont freakin' remind me, Take Two still wont publsih their games over here because of that retarded ban noone cares about

NuclearKangaroo:
murder, supression, corruption and drug trafficking are nothing compared to copyright infringement

Johnny Novgorod:
This reminds me of Mercenaries 2 and how the Venezuelan government at the time was offended because the dev team used to make military training aids.

dont freakin' remind me, Take Two still wont publsih their games over here because of that retarded ban noone cares about

If it makes you feel any better, it's not a very good game (at least on the PS2). Mercs 1 is excellent though.

Xan Krieger:
If this were to succeed then Hitler is gonna become one of the richest men in the history of the world. Does he have any surviving family to cash in on it? Even a distant cousin would work.

The last surviving family he had that I know of would be his sister who died in 1960. I'm not sure if she had any children though. Would be one helluva weird trial to see if there was still family that could drag that sort of thing to court.

Halyah:

Xan Krieger:
If this were to succeed then Hitler is gonna become one of the richest men in the history of the world. Does he have any surviving family to cash in on it? Even a distant cousin would work.

The last surviving family he had that I know of would be his sister who died in 1960. I'm not sure if she had any children though. Would be one helluva weird trial to see if there was still family that could drag that sort of thing to court.

"Mr Hitler, could you explain your grievance?"

"I am appalled that my uncle has been portrayed as a Nazi-space wizard and cyborg."

"..."

Shiftygiant:

Halyah:

Xan Krieger:
If this were to succeed then Hitler is gonna become one of the richest men in the history of the world. Does he have any surviving family to cash in on it? Even a distant cousin would work.

The last surviving family he had that I know of would be his sister who died in 1960. I'm not sure if she had any children though. Would be one helluva weird trial to see if there was still family that could drag that sort of thing to court.

"Mr Hitler, could you explain your grievance?"

"I am appalled that my uncle has been portrayed as a Nazi-space wizard and cyborg."

"..."

If I saw that in a real trial then I hope I wouldn't be eating at the time because I'd not be able to keep it down due to just the sheer shock that it was happening.

Paradox SuXcess:
Wow. How many more video games will be sued for allegedly using a persons likeness? Uncharted? Mario?

My favorite is still Ellen Page suing the company that made The Last of Us for it's flagrant and intentional use of *GASP!* "Generic 12 Year Old Girl".

Johnny Novgorod:

NuclearKangaroo:
murder, supression, corruption and drug trafficking are nothing compared to copyright infringement

Johnny Novgorod:
This reminds me of Mercenaries 2 and how the Venezuelan government at the time was offended because the dev team used to make military training aids.

dont freakin' remind me, Take Two still wont publsih their games over here because of that retarded ban noone cares about

If it makes you feel any better, it's not a very good game (at least on the PS2). Mercs 1 is excellent though.

i know, its one of my favorite sandboxes

i dont give a shit about mercs 2, but take two not releasing most of their library over here? that sucks

thank god for steam trading

tough honestly another man probably wouldnt be so willing to still try to give money to Take-Two (even if its in an indirect way), they should be grateful steam has turned me into a model PC citizen

What is it recently with dictators suing over their portrayal in media?

First we had Kim Jong Un and "The Interview"... Now it's Noriega and Black Ops II...

Is Stalin's ghost going to sue for his inaccurate portrayal as a Martian-killing machine??

image

OH THE HUMANITY

If it has his likeness in it without his permission, I see nothing wrong here.

RJ 17:

Paradox SuXcess:
Wow. How many more video games will be sued for allegedly using a persons likeness? Uncharted? Mario?

My favorite is still Ellen Page suing the company that made The Last of Us for it's flagrant and intentional use of *GASP!* "Generic 12 Year Old Girl".

You're forgetting that Ellen Page is the generic-est of people who look perpetually 12 years old.

Is it wrong that I hope he wins? That would be hysterical.

PsychicTaco115:
What is it recently with dictators suing over their portrayal in media?

First we had Kim Jong Un and "The Interview"... Now it's Noriega and Black Ops II...

Is Stalin's ghost going to sue for his inaccurate portrayal as a Martian-killing machine??

image

OH THE HUMANITY

Global dictators: "You know what, I don't think video games are giving us fair representation!"

Also: we cannot lose when Stalin is with us!

image

OT

I love how you have the screenshot that makes him look like the smuggest motherfucker on Earth.

I haven't played the game so I don't know what context this guy was in it but can you really sue for using your likeness if you're a significant publicly political figure.

Could Obama sue a game if he was in it as the president of the U.S? did Homeland have to get his permission to use his image in their opening titles?

Genuinely no idea how these laws work but I'd expect them to be covered by fact that your are allowed to satirise and parody people.

 

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