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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