Likeness rights key to suit filed Wednesday

No Doubt is suing vidgame maker Activision over use of the band’s likeness in the new “Guitar Hero” spinoff, “Band Hero.”

In a suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the veteran ska-rock group claims that “Band Hero” users have the ability to manipulate No Doubt members, both collectively and individually, into singing popular songs by other artists — something the band said they didn’t sign up for.

“No Doubt agreed to place avatars containing their name and likeness performing three No Doubt songs in the upcoming ‘Band Hero,’ ” the group said in a statement.

The game, released Tuesday by Activision, uses the likeness of No Doubt members in more than 60 songs, “which are not appropriate for No Doubt and have not been and would not have been chosen by No Doubt for recordings or public performances.”

Activision has declined to comment on the suit, while No Doubt adds that the vidgame maker has refused to alter the title, “claiming the necessary fix would be too expensive.”

The avatar allegations come in the wake of Courtney Love’s similar quarrels with the publishing giant. In September, Love accused Activision of exploiting the likeness of Kurt Cobain, her late husband, in the newest version of “Guitar Hero.”

The game, which featured Cobain singing songs from the likes of Bon Jovi and Flavor Flav, also generated unsuccessful pleas from Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Kris Novoselic.

“We urge Activision to do the right thing in ‘relocking’ Kurt’s character so that this won’t continue in the future,” the duo said in a statement.

Activision immediately denied the claims, attesting that Love, head of Cobain’s estate, had signed off on the avatar, adding that Novoselic and Grohl “have no say whatsoever in the usage of Kurt Cobain’s likeness.”

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