Manuel Noriega sues Activision over game portrayal
The notorious dictator is upset that a 'Call of Duty' title made him out to be a kidnapper and murderer.
Three years after being freed from a U.S. prison and returning to Panama, former strongman Manuel Noriega (pictured) is suing Activision Blizzard (ATVI) for using his name and likeness without his permission.
Panama's notorious military dictator, who ruled the country from 1983 until 1989 when he was removed from power and imprisoned in the U.S., alleges that the game "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" portrayed him as a "kidnapper, murderer, and enemy of the state."
The lawsuit alleges this was done to "heighten realism in the game . . . [which] translates directly into heightened sales," The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Noriega is not the only notable figure whose likeness was used in "Black Ops II." The game received media attention on its release because of a character resembling former U.S. Gen. David Petraeus.
Activision told reporters at the time that Petraeus hadn't been paid, and that characters resembling him and other public figures are works of fantasy.
Suing the makers of video games for unauthorized use of a person's likeness is becoming increasingly common. Earlier in July, Lindsay Lohan sued Take Two Interactive (TTWO) and its subsidiary Rockstar Games for creating a character in its hit game "Grand Theft Auto V" that she alleges is based on her.
Popular tattoo artists have also sued video game makers like EA Sports, alleging they own the copyright for the tattoos of famous athletes depicted in the games.
"Black Ops II" was released in late 2012. The Call of Duty series relies heavily on characters from military history to create its storylines.
Noriega spent about two decades imprisoned in the U.S. on drug-trafficking charges.
But he IS a kidnapper and murderer. It's not like the game maker is lying.
I'm sorry but no criminal in my book should have any rights ...they need to turn all prisons in to laboratories and use the criminals as test subjects for all the things that innocent animals are used for......
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