‘Band Hero’ Lawsuit Gains Ground

No Doubt’s 2009 lawsuit against video game publisher Activision for allegedly misusing the band’s likeness can go to trial.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ramona See ruled May 29 that a jury should hear the evidence claiming breach of contract, fraud and violation of publicity rights.

No Doubt filed suit in November 2009 accusing Activision of letting the band’s avatars be unlocked and used to play any song on the “Band Hero” playlist without the band’s knowledge. The band was under the impression that its avatars would perform No Doubt songs only.

The lawsuit claims the feature makes the band look like “a virtual karaoke circus act.”

However, Activision legal reps deny that claim, saying that unlocking features of video games isn’t new and they have video of the band members being told the avatars could be unlocked.

Judge See denied on a technical basis No Doubt’s request to stop Activision from using the band’s avatars. Facing waning interest, Activision announced in 2011 it was discontinuing the “Hero” franchise and its variations.

A trial date could be set later this year.